A renal angiography is an X-ray study of blood vessels to the kidney. X-rays are taken while contrast dye is injected into a catheter (a tiny tube) placed into the blood vessels of the kidneys to detect any signs of blockage, narrowing, or other abnormalities affecting the blood supply to the kidneys. If a narrowing is found, the patient may be a candidate for angioplasty (repair of the artery using a balloon followed by deployment of stent).
Who gets a renal angiogram?
Blockages of the renal arteries can cause high blood pressure and abnormal kidney function. Renal angiography is often performed for patients with high blood pressure at a very young age and for patients who are on 3 or more blood pressure medications or have intolerable side effects of medications.
Patients with impaired kidney function that is thought to be caused by a blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys are also candidates for renal angiography. Many patients with narrowed renal arteries are candidates for angioplasty at the same time.