What Is a Fistulogram?

A dialysis fistulogram is a procedure where a small catheter (similar to an IV) is placed in a dialysis access (fistula or graft), IV dye is injected into the access and pictures are taken with an X-ray machine to evaluate blood flow through the access site. This is performed to detect narrowed or blocked areas in the access which would limit blood flow through the access and interfere with normal hemodialysis treatments. The catheter is removed at the end of the procedure.
This is an outpatient procedure that is done at our Indiana Kidney Institute. It is performed by one of our board certified Interventional Nephrologists. During this procedure, you may be given conscious sedation – medicine that allows you to be conscious yet relaxed while minimizing or eliminating pain, anxiety or discomfort.
If the fistulogram shows problems such as a stenosis (narrowing) or blockage, a further procedure such as angioplasty or insertion of a stent, may be performed at that time to open up the narrowed or blocked area.