Angiography for Cerebrovascular Surgery

During an angiogram, regular X-rays take a picture as a medication is injected directly into the artery, outlining the vessel's interior. The resulting angiogram is the most accurate way of looking at arteries in the neck, head and brain, and provides information that cannot be obtained with other tests. It is often used to determine the amount of blockage in an artery in the neck. It is also used to detect the location and size of aneurysms and vascular malformations. This is an invasive test, requiring a physician to insert a catheter into the major artery near the groin and direct it “upstream” to the arteries near the brain. In experienced hands, the risk of this procedure is a stroke, which can happen in about 1 per thousand patients.