Mesenteric arteriography is an x-ray exam of the blood vessels that supply the abdominal area, including the small and large intestines.
Abdominal arteriogram; Arteriogram - abdomen
How the test is performed:
This test uses x-rays and a special dye (contrast material) to make blood vessels show up on the images.
This test is done in a hospital. You will lie on an x-ray table. You may ask for a sedative if you are anxious about the test.
The health care provider will shave and clean the groin area. A numbing medicine (anesthetic) is applied, and a needle inserted into an artery. A thin flexible tube called a catheter is passed through the needle, into the artery, and up through the main vessels of the belly area and chest until it is properly placed into a mesenteric artery. The doctor can see live images of the area on a TV-like monitor, and uses them as a guide.
Contrast dye flows through the catheter into the blood vessels. X-ray images are taken. The catheter is occasionally flushed with saline solution containing a drug called heparin to help keep blood in the tube from clotting.
Your pulse , blood pressure , and breathing are monitored during the procedure. After the x-rays are taken, the needle and catheter are withdrawn.
Pressure is immediately applied to the puncture site for 10-15 minutes to stop the bleeding. After that time the area is checked and a tight bandage is applied. The leg should be kept straight for an additional 4 hours after the procedure.
How to prepare for the test:
You should not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the test.
You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and sign a consent form for the procedure. Jewlery should be removed from the area being imaged.
Tell your health care provider:
- If you are pregnant
- If you have ever had any allergic reactions to x-ray contrast material or iodine substances
- If you are allergic to any medications
- Which medications you are taking (including any herbal preparations)
- If you have ever had any bleeding problems
How the test will feel:
The x-ray table is hard and cold, but you may ask for a blanket or pillow. You may feel a brief sting when the numbing medication (anesthetic) is given. You will feel a brief sharp pain as the catheter is inserted into the artery, and some pressure as it is moved into place.
As the dye is injected, you will feel a warm, flushing sensation. You may have tenderness and bruising at the site of the injection after the test.
Why the test is performed:
This test is done:
- When endoscopy cannot locate the source of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
- When other studies fail to provide enough information about abnormal growths along the intestinal tract
- To possibly look at blood vessel damage after an abdominal injury
A mesenteric arteriogram may be performed after more sensitive nuclear medicine scans have identified active bleeding. The radiologist can then pinpoint and treat the source. See: Endovascular embolization .
Results are considered normal if the arteries being examined are normal in appearance.
What abnormal results mean:
Abnormal results may be due to
What the risks are:
There is some risk of the catheter damaging the artery or knocking loose a piece of the artery wall, which can reduce or block blood flow and lead to tissue death. This is a rare complication.
Other risks include:
- Blood clot
- Reaction to the contrast dye