An angiogram of the lung is essentially an x-ray of the lungs that utilizes a special camera, known as a fluoroscopy. It captures images of blood flow within the blood vessels of the lungs and is widely used in the detection and subsequent treatment of a number of lung affecting conditions. The angiogram primarily uses a radio - opaque substance to make the veins stand out more clearly during the test and the most commonly used substance is iodine. The angiography is widely used to detect lung blood vessel complications such as blockages in the vessels as well as narrowing of the blood vessels, also known as stenosis. It also helps detect early signs of bulging in an artery that could be a prelude to an impending rupture and subsequent hemorrhage. The lung angiogram is also frequently used to provide surgeons with a visible map of the heart prior to an open heart surgery. One of the most frequent uses of an angiogram is to identify the presence as well as location of a pulmonary embolism or blockage in the artery that reduces the blood flow to the lungs. It is important to remember that a pulmonary embolism is a very serious condition and needs to be attended to on priority. The condition can also be effectively resolved with the correct dosage of blood thinners.
A lung angiogram is administered by inserting a thin tube, or catheter into a vein leading to the lungs. This tube is then guided to the area that requires studying after which the iodine is injected in order to provide a contrasting color of the veins on the final x-ray. During the procedure, you are probably going to be asked to put on a lead gown to protect the genital and pelvic areas from x-ray exposure and a round cylinder or rectangular box that captures the images will be passed over the targeted area.
In order to get ready for an impending lung angiogram, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding. This is primarily because of the fact that once the dye has entered your body, you will have to resort to feeding your baby formula for about 2 days until the dye has been passed out of your body. Also inform your doctor of any allergies you may suffer from or if you suffer from asthma.