Cerebral angiography



Cerebral angiography provides images of blood vessels in and around the brain, allowing detection of abnormalities such as arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms. 


A catheter is inserted into an artery (


such as the femoral artery and threaded through the circulatory system to the carotid artery, where a contrast agent is injected. 


A series of radiographs are taken as the contrast agent spreads through the brain’s arterial system, then a second series as it reaches the venous system.


Cerebral angiography may yield better images than less invasive methods such as computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance angiography. 


Cerebral angiography allows certain treatments to be performed immediately, based on its findings. 


Cerebral angiography has therapeutic aspects with endovascular therapeutic techniques. 


Cerebral angiography allows embolization in the treatment of cerebral AV malformations, facilitating subsequent microsurgical or radiosurgical treatment.


Cerebral angiography allows the introduction of metal coils through the catheter,  already in place,  to the site of aneurysm to encourage formation of connective tissue at the site, strengthening the vessel walls.


The use of angiography is obsolete as modern non-invasive diagnostic methods are available to image many kinds of primary intracranial abnormalities directly.

Major complications in cerebral angiography such as in digital subtraction angiography or contrast MRI are also rare but include stroke, an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic other medication or the contrast medium, blockage or damage to one of the access veins in the leg, or thrombosis and embolism formation. 


Bleeding or bruising at the site where the contrast is injected are minor complications, delayed bleeding can also occur but is rare.

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