What is a cerebral angiogram?

Angiography is the most reliable and sensitive diagnostic test for the detection and clarification of the anatomy of brain aneurysms, AVM and other cranial or spinal vascular lesions. This procedure requires needle access to the main artery of the leg (femoral artery) and on rare occasions the arm (brachial artery) to guide a small diameter catheter to the blood vessels supplying the brain and spinal cord. From this access point, neuroendovascular surgeons inject a dye that is detectable by x-ray and is demonstrated by a device called a fluoroscope. A cerebral angiogram is more accurate than CT angiography (CTA) or MR angiography (MRA) in assessing the presence of or anatomy of vascular lesions. The benefit of the information offered by cerebral angiography counterbalances the low potential risk of stroke, death and bleeding from catheter access site that has been described in association with this procedure.

Angiography may be used as a diagnostic procedure alone or as a means to offer treatment. Over the past 20 years, there has been profound advancements in the development of endovascular device technology. Angiographic techniques are now applied for the treatment of vascular malformations, aneurysms, for the precise application of medications, to restore normal cerebral blood flow and to diminish the blood supply to tumors.

Back to Treatments