A peripheral catheterization, also known as a peripheral angiogram, is a procedure performed to evaluate for abnormalities or blockages in the blood vessels outside of the heart, such as the arms, legs, or neck. The procedure is typically performed in patients who have symptoms of peripheral artery disease (known as “claudication”) resulting from poor circulation and/or abnormal wound healing.

The image to the right is a picture of a catheterization laboratory. There is a table for the patient, a C-shaped X-ray camera, and monitors for visualizing the findings of the procedure. The catheterization procedure remains the gold-standard for visualizing blockages within blood vessels

A long, thin, flexible tube, called a catheter, is typically inserted into the leg or arm through a tiny incision (typically less than one-tenth of an inch) at the skin surface. These catheters are then positioned into the blood vessels of interest. Contrast dye is injected through the catheters and X-rays are taken of the blood vessels. By visualizing the flow of contrast dye within these blood vessels, detailed information is obtained