Cerebral angiography is a procedure that is performed to evaluate certain types of disorders that affect the blood vessels of the neck and brain.
The most common reasons (indications) for the performance of this procedure include:
- Brain aneurysms
- Vascular Malformations (arterio-venous malformations and dural arterio-venous fistulas)
- Carotid Stenosis (Carotid artery Atherosclerosis)
- Blunt and penetrating Trauma
- Moya-Moya Syndrome
- Performance of WADA test
- Prior to cerebrovascular interventions
Cerebral angiography is considered the “gold standard” for imaging of tiny blood vessels that supply the brain and spinal cord. This examination provides the level of resolution that is unparalleled and cannot be matched by other tests such as CT and MRI. Moreover, it allows the operator to study the dynamics of blood flow to the brain; information that is critical in understanding the implications of various vascular conditions of the brain.
We often also acquire special type of imaging data during cerebral angiography that is very helpful in subsequent planning. This includes 3D imaging of the brain (or cervical) vessels as well as cross sectional images of the brain and associated vasculature (C-arm or Dyna CT). 3D images of cerebral vasculature create vascular models of the patient’s brain circulation. These images are very helpful, particularly in planning treatment of aneurysms and vascular malformations by endovascular or open surgical techniques.
Cerebral angiography is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. In this procedure, a very small plastic tube (catheter) is inserted through the artery in the groin and subsequently navigated to the neck vessels under X-ray (fluoroscopic) guidance. Once the correct positioning of the catheter is confirmed, x-ray dye is injected through the catheter to take pictures of blood vessels of the neck and brain. After acquiring the necessary pictures, the catheter is removed. Either manual pressure is help or a small plug is placed at the arterial access site to prevent any bleeding from the groin. The procedure generally takes 1-2 hours followed by observation in the recovery unit. The patients are discharged home after 2-4 hours.
The University of Maryland team consists of highly trained personnel that have dedicated focus in diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular disease. This team consists of physicians with dedicated training and certification in Interventional Neuroradiology (Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology), Interventional Neuroradiology nurse practitioner, technologists with focus on neuroradiology as well as experienced team of nurses.
The University of Maryland facility is amongst some of the very best in the country in terms of latest advanced technology as well as experience of the personnel in performance of these delicate procedures. We are committed to provide the highest level of care and safety to our patients.
For further information about this or any other neurovascular procedures, please call our team at 410-328-7407 or 410-328-1192.