Common tests in interventional radiology
Interventional radiologists use different kinds of non-invasive tests to provide them with detailed information about the body's blood vessels. These tests provide 3-D images that allow your IR physician to see your blood vessels from a variety of angles. Your doctor will use this information to evaluate your condition and determine the right treatment for you.
Computed Tomography Angiogram (CTA): Before a CTA scan, a nurse or technician may place a thin, flexible tube known as an intravenous (IV) catheter into your arm. A dye is injected into your blood vessels through the catheter, making them more visible on the scan for the purpose of diagnosis. A CTA uses an X-ray to produce an image of your blood vessels.
Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA): An MRA uses a strong magnetic fiield to produce images of your blood vessels. An MRA is performed like a CTA but can be done without using a dye. In this case, your doctor will determine whether or not a dye is needed to assess your condition.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to provide detailed images of the organs, blood vessels, soft tissues and bones. This imaging allows your doctor to see inside your body from a variety of angles and helps in the assessment of your condition and treatment planning. An MRI does not use X-rays, so no radiation is used to scan the body.
Venogram: Venography is a well-established imaging study that visualizes and evaluates the blood flow in your veins. A special contracts dye is injected through a wire-guided catheter to allow enhanced visualization of blood flow. A key advantage of this imaging procedure is that it allows an interventional radiologist to see, diagnose and treat correctable abnormalities such as narrowing, blockage or vessel leak.
X-ray: An X-ray, or radiography, is a non-invasive imaging test that uses a X-ray beam to take pictures of the tissues and bones in your body, Small amounts of radiation are used for an X-ray exam, which can help your interventional radiologist diagnose conditions such as bone and joint diseases, lung and heart problems, intestinal blockages and swallowed objects. Your doctor may recommend additional imaging tests, based on your X-ray results.