Also known as: venogram.

What is venography?

Venography is an invasive X-Ray imaging test that takes pictures of a contrast dye flowing through the veins of any part of the body (frequently the legs), allowing the radiologist to determine the location and type of any vein abnormality, (like an abnormal anatomy, blockages/clots, enlargements, malformations) or to ensure that catheters are placed correctly for treatments such as an infusion of a drug to dissolve a blood clot.

What happens during the procedure?

Usually no sedation or anesthetic is required. An intravenous catheter (small thin tube) will be inserted into a vein near the area that needs examination and a contrast dye is injected into the vein. As the dye moves through the veins, a series of X-rays are taken. Once the test is completed the catheter will be removed. A tourniquet may be used to slow the flow of blood in some instances.

Is any special preparation needed?

The patient may need to avoid food, drink or certain medications prior to the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Venography is thought to be a safe procedure, however complications associated with any venous catheter are possible. Pain, fever, bleeding, damage to structures nearby, infection, allergic reactions to the dye (like hives, or other allergic reactions), and others (for example exposure to x-rays) are possible however the benefits are thought to outweigh any potential problems.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: March 15, 2021 11:53 AM

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