All about Cerebral Angiography or Brain Angiogram Procedure

September 2, 2022

All about Cerebral Angiography or Brain Angiogram Procedure
Share the article

Angiography: What is it?

Using angiography, one can create X-ray images of the blood vessels interiors. Strokes may occur when blood arteries are clogged, constricted, damaged, or otherwise abnormal. Using an angiography, your doctor can evaluate the cause of the issue and the degree of damage to the blood artery segments under scrutiny.

What is cerebral angiography, or brain angiogram?

A cerebral angiography, sometimes referred to as a brain angiogram, is one of the frequent diagnostic procedures that uses an X-ray to produce an image to help your doctor discover blockages or any other abnormalities in the blood arteries surrounding your head and neck.

Your doctor would inject contrast material into your blood for the angiography brain test. This contrast substance aids the X-ability rays in providing an image of your blood vessels. Your doctor can determine if there are any blockages or abnormalities once the image has been created.

Uses of cerebral angiography or brain angiogram

In this instance, it is important to keep in mind that not everyone with artery blockage needs to have a brain angiography. This operation is used mostly because, in many cases, the doctors would need additional information to plan the course of treatment.

Cerebral angiography can aid in the diagnosis of the following conditions in this regard:

  • Aneurysm
  • Venous malformation arteries
  • Vessels in the blood become inflamed
  • Brain cancer
  • Artery lining tearing

Your doctor may use cerebral angiography to determine the origin of the following symptoms:

  • Stroke
  • Headache
  • Speech slurring, dizziness, memory loss, blurred or double vision
  • Numbness or weakness
  • loss of coordination or balance

How Do You Begin Preparing?

It is always recommended that you talk to your doctor and ask questions. They can help you get ready for a brain angiography in this way. Preparation might be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the procedure. But after your fears are dispelled, the uphill task will look simpler.

For example, you might not be permitted to eat or drink the evening before your angiography appointment. To reduce the risk of internal bleeding, the doctor may also advise against taking any medications before the test. However, this specific step is not always required.

Alert your doctor

If you have allergies or illnesses, let your doctor know. For example, the contrast substance used during the treatment can cause allergic reactions in some persons. If you have allergies, your doctor can recommend allergy medicines.

Specific illnesses and medical conditions can increase your chance of experiencing difficulties during the test. For example, the contrast substance may temporarily harm your kidneys if you have diabetes or kidney disease. When getting a pregnancy test, you should enquire about radiation exposure if you are pregnant or suspect you could be.


The chance of developing cancer due to X-ray radiation exposure is meagre.

  • Iodine or contrasting dye allergy is a small yet potential risk, although clinicians are prepared to treat it.
  • The contrasting colour causes a temporary decrease in renal function (5 to 7 days). As a result, people with kidney illnesses are not advised to have this operation unless necessary.
  • Any minimally invasive operation entails the risk of blood vessel injury, infection, and bleeding or bruising at the site. Given this, the doctors will take the appropriate safety measures.
  • The chance of a blood clot forming at the catheter’s tip is minuscule. However, surgery might be necessary to reopen the vessel because this can obstruct the artery.
  • A stroke may result if the catheter dislodges plaque from a vascular wall and blocks blood flow to the brain.
  • Internal bleeding results from the infrequent occurrence of the catheter puncturing an artery.
  • The catheter tip may separate material from the artery’s inner lining. A block in the blood vessel downstream will result from this.

Post-Angiography Period

You will most likely be taken to a recovery area after the cerebral angiography operation, where you will undoubtedly stay for a few hours before going home. After you get home, perform domestic chores. Stop lifting big things, and don’t use too much energy. Make sure you don’t move about a lot during the first week.

If you see any of the following signs, think about contacting your doctor right away:

  • Unsteady speech
  • Deficiencies in strength, numbness, or vision

Early indications of a stroke include the symptoms indicated above. Therefore, be careful not to underestimate the circumstances. Watch out for the indicators listed below as well:

  • Swelling and redness where the catheter was inserted
  • Swelling in the leg
  • Foot feels chilly
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness

Your doctor would choose the next course of action for you based on whether or not these symptoms are present.

home care

When you go home, look for bleeding at the injection site. It’s usual to have a little bruise and the occasional blood drop at the wound.

If the arm or groyne was utilised, you should keep an eye on the affected leg to look for any changes in temperature or colour, pain, numbness, or loss of function.

Drink a lot of liquids to flush away the contrast dye and avoid dehydration.

After the treatment, you might be recommended to engage in vigorous activity or take a hot bath or shower.


Depending on the injection site, you might need to lay flat on a bed for several hours following the surgery, depending on the injection site. But, again, to reduce discomfort and swelling during that period.

When you should call your doctor

It’s common to experience minor bruising or light bleeding at the injection site. However, keep an eye out for any changes in temperature, discoloured skin, discomfort, numbness, or loss of function in the limbs close to the injection site. If any of these changes occur, contact your doctor.

In addition, if you have any of the following signs, you should contact your physician:

  • Frostbite or fever
  • worsening of the injection site’s discomfort, redness, oedema, bleeding, or unusual discharge
  • speech or vision changes
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Having trouble breathing

People also ask

1. How serious is an angiogram of the brain?

Risks associated with cerebral angiography are uncommon but could be pretty significant. They consist of artery puncture, blood vessel injury, and stroke (if the catheter loosens plaque inside a blood vessel).

2. How is a cerebral angiography or brain angiogram performed?

A catheter, a long, thin, flexible tube, is introduced into an artery in the arm or leg during cerebral angiography. A technician inserts a catheter into the patient’s vein and injects a particular dye into the blood arteries leading to the brain. It is a technique for creating x-ray images of the interior of blood arteries.

3. How long does it take to recover from a cerebral angiography or brain angiogram?

The healing process could take up to 12 to 24 hours, depending on where the contrast dye injection was made. If required, you should be prepared to stay the night. Before the surgery, your healthcare professional can ask for a blood test to determine how quickly your blood clots.

4. Why do a cerebral angiography or brain angiogram?

The most frequent use of cerebral angiography is to detect or confirm abnormalities in the brain’s blood arteries.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Interventional Radiology and Imaging Services

Interventional Radiology and Imaging Services

Chat with us!
Chat with us