Cerebral Angiography is a minimally invasive medical test that uses x-rays and an iodine-containing contrast material to produce pictures of blood vessels in the brain. Cerebral angiography may also be called 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 can be used to help detect and diagnose acute stroke. The images that result from cerebral angiography are not available from other techniques. Angiography may be utilized to identify bleeding aneurysms, vasospasm, and arteriovenous malformations, and to differentiate embolism from large artery thrombosis