Unfamiliarity of endovascular surgeons with carbon dioxide (CO2) angiography is one of the main reasons for its limited use. This review is intended to familiarize the reader with the principles and applications of that modality.Methods:
We conducted a comprehensive review of contemporary literature related to CO2 angiography and its use in the field of vascular and endovascular surgery, including technical details and diagnostic and interventional applications.Results:
Cardinal physicochemical characteristics of CO2 include buoyancy, ultralow viscosity, and nonmixing with blood. Because of the risk of neurotoxicity, intra-arterial CO2 angiography should only be performed below the diaphragm. Venous CO2 angiography can be performed anywhere in the torso and extremities. Ultralow viscosity enables intraprocedural imaging during vascular interventions without the need to exchange for an angiographic catheter. Benefits, advantages, and emerging applications of CO2 angiography are listed. Potential complications and their avoidance and troubleshooting are discussed.Conclusions:
CO2 holds promise as an effective and versatile angiographic contrast agent. It is also a valuable modality for the guidance of endovascular interventions. Current availability of easy to use, safe, and portable CO2 delivery systems will likely expand the use of that modality even beyond the traditional indications of renal insufficiency and iodinated contrast allergy.