Blockage in carotid artery

Carotid angiography is an invasive imaging procedure that involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm or leg, and guiding it to the carotid arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that x-ray movies of your carotid arteries (the arteries that supply your brain with oxygen-rich blood) are taken. This procedure is considered the "gold standard" for imaging the carotid and cerebral vessels.

Your doctor uses carotid angiography to:

  • evaluate or confirm the presence of narrowing or blockage in your carotid arteries
  • determine risk for future stroke
  • determine the need for further treatment (angioplasty or surgery)
  • perform a minimally invasive procedure, carotid stenting, to fix the narrowing in the carotid artery

Reviewed: 09/13 This information is about testing and procedures and may include instructions specific to Cleveland Clinic. Please consult your physician for information pertaining to your testing.