A cerebral angiogram stands out as a pivotal diagnostic tool, generating images of the brain's and/or head's blood vessels. It offers indispensable insights into vascular health, aiding in the identification of conditions such as blood clots, fatty plaque buildups, cerebral aneurysms, and other vascular abnormalities.

Why Consider a Cerebral Angiogram?

  • Comprehensive Vascular Insights: Primarily, the test pinpoints blockages in the brain's arteries and quantifies their severity.
  • Diverse Diagnostic Aids: From detecting risk factors for stroke to unearthing vascular malformations, the procedure is instrumental in uncovering a range of cerebral conditions.

The Procedure: What to Expect?

  1. Point of Access: Typically, the angiogram is performed either through the groyne, wrist, or elbow's frontal region, with a preference for the right side.
  2. Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia is employed for the patient's comfort.
  3. Methodology: A small catheter is routed to the carotid artery's base. A contrast agent is subsequently injected straight into the brain's blood vessels, with images captured during this injection.

Potential Risks & Complications

While cerebral angiograms generally entail minimal risk, it's prudent to be apprised of possible complications:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Infections
  • Allergic reactions to the contrast dye
  • Potential for a stroke

However, rest assured, medical professionals meticulously monitor the procedure throughout and are equipped to adeptly manage any unforeseen situations.

Considering Alternatives

For those seeking alternatives, the Computerized Tomographic Angiogram, employing the multi-slice technique, serves as an efficient substitute.

Who Should Opt for a Cerebral Angiogram?

Patients presenting the following conditions might be ideal candidates:

  • Transient Ischemic Stroke
  • Carotid disease
  • Acute Stroke, marked by symptoms such as sudden numbness, facial droop, confusion, speech or understanding impediments, vision issues, unexplained severe headaches, and swallowing difficulties.