Cerebral Angiogram

A cerebral angiogram is a diagnostic procedure that provides images of the blood vessels in the brain and/or head. The test is performed to search for blocked or leaking blood vessels. This test can help to diagnose such conditions as blood clotting, fatty plaque which increases a patient's risk of stroke, cerebral aneurysm or other vascular malformations.

How is a cerebral angiogram done?
The procedure is performed either through the groin or the wrist or the front part of the elbow. The right side is preferable. It is done using local anesthesia. During the procedure, a small catheter is introduced to the root of the carotid artery. Contrast agent is injected directly into the blood vessels of the brain. Pictures are taken during the contrast injection.
The procedure is done to see if there is blockage in the arteries of the brain. It also provides information of how severe the blockage is.
The chance of a complication with a cerebral angiogram is small. However, it is important to be aware of the possible risks, including but not limited to: internal bleeding, damage to a blood vessel, infection, allergic reaction to the contrast dye, and stroke. Of course your physician will be carefully monitoring for any complications and is fully trained to respond if one arises.
Computerized tomographic angiogram using multi-slice technique is an alternative to this procedure.
Patients with the following conditions may have a cerebral angiogram performed:
  • Transient Ischemic Stroke
  • Carotid disease
  • Acute Stroke (sudden onset of numbness or weakness face arm leg onside of body, facial droop, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, trouble seeing in one or both eyes or double vision, severe headache with no known cause, difficulty swallowing)

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