What Are the Side Effects of an Angiogram Test?

Tenderness and bruising at the angiogram site commonly appear after an angiogram, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients may also experience fatigue and should avoid heavy lifting for several weeks after the procedure.

More serious side effects of an angiogram include bleeding, chest pain or feelings of weakness, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Patients with these symptoms should contact a doctor. Heavy bleeding from the angiogram site requires emergency medical treatment.

An angiogram is used to detect problems with a patient’s arteries, as stated by Mayo Clinic. For example, an angiogram can show if a patient has blocked arteries. During the procedure, a catheter is threaded through a vein in the patient’s arm or groin and worked towards the heart. Liquid dye is inserted through the catheter to make blood vessels easy to view on an X-ray machine. An angiogram takes about one hour to complete. Patients can typically return home the same day as the procedure.

Patients are usually required to lie down for several hours after an angiogram to prevent bleeding. Although rare, some patients experience complications. These complications can include: stroke, injury to the artery, irregular heart rhythm, a heart tear, bleeding or infection, as reported by Mayo Clinic.