is a form of medical imaging
that visualizes the arterial
supply of the brain
. It was pioneered by Dr. Egas Moniz
in 1927, and is now the gold standard
for detecting vascular problems of the brain.
Any form of angiography
involves the passing of a catheter
into a large artery (e.g. the femoral artery
) and advancing this catheter through the carotid artery
. When this has been achieved, a contrast agent
that is relatively impervious to the passage of x-ray
photons is injected, and a rapid series of radiographs is taken while this radiopaque fluid passes through the vasculature. Another series, taken when the contrast agent has passed through the tissues, visualizes the venous supply. Using modern equipment, this method offers better visual representation of cerebral blood vessels than less invasive methods such as computed tomography angiography
and magnetic resonance angiography
Most vascular abnormalities of the brain, e.g. arteriovenous malformations
, can be detected on cerebral angiography.
In some countries, cerebral angiography is required to confirm brain death.
One of the advantages of angiography over alternative techniques (e.g. magnetic resonance angiography
/MRA) is the possibility of performing interventions. Aneurysms, in particular, may be amenable to the angiographic insertion of metal coils, which lead to connective tissue
formation and the obliteration of the aneurysm.