Why is the doctor performing this test?
To evaluate the possible presence of a blood clot in the lung (a Pulmonary Embolism). This test is most accurate in diagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism within the first 24 - 48 hours of symptoms.
Pulmonary Angiography is also used to evaluate the presence of lung blood vessel anatomic (i.e. size, shape, location) abnormalities, including abnormalities present at birth that can lead to significant vascular, lung, and heart disease.
What is the test?
Pulmonary Angiography is an invasive diagnostic test using a catheter to inject dye (contrast medium) into the pulmonary artery, which delivers un-oxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs. X-rays are taken of the dye as it circulates thru the lung's blood vessel system, allowing clear visualization of the blood flow inside the arteries where a Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot), or anatomic abnormality, can occur.
Where is the test performed?
In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab or the Interventional Radiology Suite.
How long does this test take?
Pulmonary Angiography usually takes about an hour and requires a short hospital stay of 3 - 4 hours.