A venogram is diagnostic test that uses X-rays, in conjunction with an injection of contrast dye, to show how blood flows through the veins. The dye allows the veins to be viewed more clearly on the X-ray images. A renal venogram is used to view the veins and monitor blood flow within the kidneys. It helps to detect blood clots and tumors, and measure hormone production within the kidneys.
The Renal Venogram Procedure
A renal venogram is a noninvasive test that is usually performed on an outpatient basis in the radiology department of a hospital. During a renal venogram, a catheter is inserted into a vein in the groin, and snaked through the vein until it reaches the kidney, at which point a contrast dye is injected through the catheter. A series of X-rays is then taken. A blood sample may be also taken from each kidney. After the procedure, fluids are run through the catheter to remove the contrast dye from the veins. Patients are instructed to drink plenty of fluids for the next day to continue to flush the dye from their system.
Recovery from a Renal Venogram
A renal venogram takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete. A patient may have some discomfort as the catheter is inserted, and may feel a burning sensation when the contrast dye is injected. Most patients can return home the same day as the procedure.
Risks of a Renal Venogram
Although a renal venogram is considered a safe, there are certain risks associated with it that include the following:
- Allergic reaction to contrast dye
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Damage to blood vessels
- Damage to kidney
After a renal venogram is completed, the images are sent to a radiologist for analysis. A physician then discusses the results with the patient.