A venogram is a procedure that uses X-rays to record images of the blood flowing through the veins of your body. It determines the condition of veins and looks for the source of blood clots in patients with suspected pulmonary embolism. Veins are clearly visible on the X-ray images when a special contrast dye is injected into them. Veins from various parts of your body such as legs, pelvis, arms, heart or kidney can be observed in the venogram. Computed tomography (CT) venography makes use of X-rays emitted by a CT scanner to view images of veins in various parts of the body.
You should avoid eating for 4 hours before the procedure, but continue the intake of fluids. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, allergic to the contrast dye, have asthma, bleeding problems, or kidney problems.
You will have to lie on a table attached to a CT scanner. A contrast dye is injected for studying the veins of a particular body part. For a venogram of leg veins, you will have to relax and keep the legs still. An elastic band will be tied to the ankle to fill the veins with blood and a contrast dye will be injected on the top of your foot. For a venogram of the pelvis, dye is injected in a vein of the groin. For a venogram of the arm, dye is injected in the arm. The CT scanner emits X-rays which records images of the particular body part. The CT scanner tilts to take images from different positions while you lie straight on the examination table.
Following the procedure, you may have to elevate the arm or leg and a sterile saline solution will be injected into the veins to flush the dye. Medications may be injected into the veins to prevent blood clotting and the site of injection is then bandaged.
As with any procedure, CT venography involves certain risks and complications. They include:
Infection or damage to the veins
Damage to cells and tissues due to X-ray radiations
Rarely, deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the deep vein)
For more information about CT venogrphy from an experienced radiologist, book an appointment with Dr. Luke Matar.