A fistulagram is also called an artificial graft. The purpose of a fistulagram is to evaluate renal access to a surgical fistula/graft (synthetic connection of an artery and a vein) that is not functioning properly. A fistulagram may show that the blood flow is not high enough, pressures in the vein are too high or the graft is clotting frequently.
The procedure involves placement of a tiny needle (smaller than a dialysis needle) into the fistula/graft and injection of contrast dye, which enables visualization within the fistula/graft. Treatments such as venous angioplasty/stent (renal dialysis access) may be performed to treat blockages that are detected.