Test: Cerebral Angiography

Cerebral angiography uses X-rays to look for abnormalities of the vertebral or carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain. It may be used to investigate transient ischaemic attacks and stroke. Under local anaesthesia, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery, usually at the groin or elbow, and guided to an artery in the neck. A dye that shows up on X-rays is then injected through it. The outline of blood flow through the arteries is then seen on the X-ray (angiogram).

The procedure

The tip of the catheter is guided into the artery being investigated, in this case, the carotid artery. Dye is injected, and X-rays are taken.



This colour-enhanced contrast X-ray, called an angiogram, shows the internal carotid artery, a main artery supplying the brain, branching into many smaller blood vessels. In this angiogram, the artery is normal.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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