What is angiography?

Angiography is a way to produce X-ray pictures of the insides of blood vessels. When blood vessels are blocked, narrowed, damaged or abnormal in any way, problems including stroke may occur. Angiography helps your physician determine the source of the problem and the extent of damage to the blood vessel segments that are being examined.

What is cerebral angiography?

Cerebral angiography is also known as intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography (IADSA). In cerebral angiography, a catheter (long, thin, flexible tube) is inserted into an artery in the arm or leg. Using the catheter, a technician injects a special dye into the blood vessels that lead to the brain. In cerebral angiography, X-ray images show blood vessel abnormalities in the brain.

Results from a cerebral angiogram are more accurate than those produced by carotid Doppler. Usually, cerebral angiography is used after another test has already found an abnormality.Angiography is used to help detect and diagnose acute stroke. The images that result from cerebral angiography are not available from other techniques.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/11/2018.

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