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What an Angiography Can Reveal About Your Cardiovascular Health

What an Angiography Can Reveal About Your Cardiovascular Health

Vascular testing checks the blood flow in your veins and arteries. There are many different types of vascular tests, including angiography. 

Here at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center, the team offers three kinds of angiography: traditional angiography, CO2 angiography, and computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

Have you been recommended for an angiography and wonder what it can reveal about your cardiovascular health? Below, our board-certified wound care specialists and podiatrists explain what your angiography results can reveal about your cardiovascular health and how that impacts your foot and ankle health.

What is an angiography?

Angiography is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the blood vessels in various parts of your body.

The procedure involves the injection of a contrast dye into the bloodstream via a catheter in your upper thigh. (If you’re getting a CO2 angiography, our team injects carbon dioxide (C02) gas instead of the contrast dye.) The contrast dye (or C02 gas) makes your blood vessels visible on X-ray images. 

When your blood vessels are visible on imaging, our team can identify blockages, narrowing, or abnormalities in the blood vessels.

What an angiography can reveal about your cardiovascular health

Regardless of which type of angiography you have, it can reveal a lot about the state of your cardiovascular system. It can help highlight conditions such as:

Coronary artery disease (CAD)

An angiography is commonly used to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is a condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle. CAD is serious and can increase your risk for heart attacks.

Heart valve disorders

Angiography can also reveal abnormalities in the structure or function of your heart valves, such as stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage). These conditions can affect blood flow within your heart and may require surgical intervention to repair or replace the affected valve. 

Congenital heart issues

In some cases, angiography may be used to diagnose congenital heart defects, which are abnormalities in the structure of the heart that are present from birth. 

What can these tests reveal about your foot and ankle health?

Angiography is a valuable diagnostic procedure that provides detailed insights into the condition of your heart and blood vessels, and that, in turn, can say a lot about your foot and ankle health. Certain heart conditions (like CAD) can increase your risk of foot problems like periphery artery disease (PAD).

The Diabetic Foot and Wound Center team may perform peripheral angiography tests for several reasons related to foot and ankle health:

To confirm peripheral artery disease (PAD)

PAD happens when plaque builds up in your blood vessels in your lower limbs. This narrows your blood vessels, and as they narrow, your blood flow is decreased. This can cause symptoms such as leg pain, cramping, and slow-healing wounds on your feet. 

Angiography can help diagnose the extent and location of arterial blockages in your lower extremities. Once the angiography pinpoints problem areas, our team can place a stent to restore proper blood flow to your limbs. 

To monitor for any diabetic complications

People with diabetes are at risk of developing foot complications due to poor circulation and nerve damage. Angiography may be used to assess blood flow to your feet and detect any blockages or narrowing of arteries that could contribute to diabetic foot ulcers or other issues.

To check on blood flow to your wounds

Chronic wounds or ulcers on your feet may not heal properly if there is inadequate blood flow to the area. In other words, your angiography results can help identify any vascular issues contributing to poor wound healing.

To see how blood flow may impact your nerve health

Peripheral neuropathy, which can cause weakness and numbness, is characterized by nerve damage. Angiography can determine if blood flow to the nerves in your legs and feet is compromised. Reduced blood flow to the nerves can worsen neuropathic symptoms and increase the risk of foot complications. 

Getting started with your angiography

If you have concerns about your circulation (especially the circulation in your feet), don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. From your diagnostic imaging 一 whether that’s the traditional angiography, a CO2 angiography, or the computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) 一 to treatment for PAD, ulcers, or neuropathy, we’ve got what you need under one roof.

You can visit our walk-in wound clinic here in Bakersfield, California, schedule an appointment online, or simply give us a call  at 661-238-7526.

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