Topic: Cerebral Angiography
Cerebral angiography involves injecting a contrast agent (x-ray dye) into an artery in the neck in order to see the blood vessels in the neck and brain. This is useful for detecting stroke or locating tumors, blood clots, aneurysms (weak area in a blood vessel), or other abnormalities.
• Normally angiograms are done in the hospital.
• You will be instructed not to eat or drink for 6-8 hours before the test.
• You will be given a mild sedative to help you relax and an IV will be started in order to give other medication if needed.
• After an injection of local anesthetic (a numbing medication), a thin catheter (small, flexible plastic tube) is inserted through a small incision in the arm.
• The doctor 'threads' the catheter up the vein or artery into a vessel in the neck.
• Once in position, dye is injected so that the physician may take x-rays to see the blood vessels.
• The dye may cause a feeling like a hot flash' or some burning or brief nausea.
• There is a small risk of developing a stroke during the procedure caused by a clot or piece of plaque (blockage) that may be broken off by the catheter. This is a very uncommon complication.
• Other small risks exist for puncturing a blood vessel with the catheter, and developing infection, pain, or swelling at the site of catheter insertion.
• In elderly persons or in those with kidney disease, the contrast material may lead to temporary or permanent kidney failure (rare).
• It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids after the angiogram to flush the kidneys.
• Allergic reactions to the contrast material can occur, but are usually easily managed