Endocrine conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, hyperaldosteronism, and hyperpituitarism result in elevated levels of certain hormones in the blood. These conditions can often be difficult to diagnose with traditional diagnostic methods such as CT or MRI. Often, blood sampling from the veins of the respective endocrine organs may be the only way to diagnose these conditions. In addition, some of the hormone-secreting tumors may be diagnosed with venous sampling. Our interventional radiologists insert a small tube into the veins and use fluoroscopic guidance to sample the venous blood from many different parts of the body in order to locate the source of the elevated hormone.
Preparing for Venous Sampling
These procedures are performed with conscious sedation, a process in which you are given medication to make you sleepy but not unconscious. Conscious sedation requires that you not eat a meal for 8 hours before the procedure. Most medications can be taken the morning of the procedure except for medications that affect blood clotting (aspirin, Plavix, Lovenox, Coumadin, etc). If you are taking one of these medications, you may need to stop taking it or be switched to another medicine for a few days before the procedure. This will be coordinated by your doctor if necessary.
What to Expect Following Venous Sampling
The procedures are performed in a sterile, surgical environment with the professional Interventional Radiology team, consisting of a physician, a technician, and a nurse. Patients are generally sedated using moderate sedation. Following the initial sampling procedure, the venous catheter will be left in the vein. Patients will remain in the hospital room for approximately two hours while the initial results are obtained from the lab.
Request an Appointment
To meet with an interventional radiologist at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas, or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.