A shuntogram is an image-guided procedure where contrast material (dye) is placed in the shunt reservoir/valve and the speed at which it moves is observed to determine if there is a shunt malfunction or blockage.
This procedure is used to look inside your dialysis access, whether it is a fistula or shunt. It is used to find imperfections or narrowing in the access or the blood vessels leaving the access.
How is the procedure done?
Our Interventional Radiologist inserts a long, narrow tube called a catheter into position in the blood vessel. Contrast is then injected through the catheter so the blood vessels can be seen on the x-rays. You may feel very warm for a few seconds as the contrast material is injected.
A series of x-rays are taken with a high speed camera. The room may get noisy for a few seconds because of the camera.
The injection and x-rays may be repeated several times to show different blood vessels. In some cases, the doctor will use a balloon catheter to open narrowing in the blood vessels around the fistula or shunt.
At the end of the test, the catheter will be removed.