Section II. THE VASCULAR SYSTEM
a. Angiography (or vasography) is the radiographic investigation and study of
the blood channels in selected portions of the circulatory system after injection of a
radiopaque contrast medium to render them visible. Images are captured with digital
fluoroscopy and digital printers are capable of printing multiple images on each film.
The unprinted digital image is still available on the image archiving system. There are
three basic divisions of angiography.
Many examinations of the vascular system are now replaced by other
modalities such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance
(1) Arteriography. Arteriography is the radiographic examination of the
arteries during injection of a radiopaque contrast medium.
(2) Venography. Venography (or phlebography) is the radiographic
examination of the veins during the injection of a contrast medium. Venography may be
done in one of two ways. In direct venography, the contrast medium is injected directly
into the lumen of the veins and radiographs are exposed the instant a given portion of
the venous system is filled with the contrast medium. In direct venography, the contrast
medium is introduced into a selected portion of the arterial system and radiography of
the analogously related venous channels is done at the time the contrast medium is
passing through the veins on its return flow.
(3) Capillariography. Capillariography is the radiographic examination of the
capillaries after they have been filled with a contrast medium (nephrography is a form of
b. The terms below apply to specific types of angiographic examinations.
(1) Angiocardiography. Angiocardiography is the radiographic examination
of the heart and great vessels of the thorax during the venous injection of an opaque
(2) Aortography. Aortography is the radiographic examination of the aorta
after injection of a contrast medium.
(3) Cardiac catheterization. Cardiac catheterization is a procedure wherein
a catheter is introduced into the heart via selected blood vessels under fluoroscopic
control to obtain samples of blood from the various chambers of the heart for
determination of the cardiac output.