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What are the percentage-based risks of having a cerebral angiogram performed?

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Quick Answer

Although the risks of a cerebral angiogram are not given percentages, there is a chance that the procedure can damage the blood vessels, cause a stroke or cause blood clots to form, says Healthline. These possible issues are rare, but need to be discussed with a doctor prior to implementation.

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A cerebral angiography is a procedure that a doctor performs by inserting a thin, flexible tube into a vein and threading it up to the carotid artery, explains Healthline. Contrast dyes are released through the tube while pictures are taken. This test helps a doctor to identify artery blockages, tumors, aneurysms, blood clots and arterial problems. It can also be used to help diagnose the reasons for vertigo, severe headaches, memory loss and weakness. However, the procedure itself can cause blockages if the catheter tube loosens plaque and causes blood clots to form around it.

Prior to having a cerebral angiography, the patient needs to follow the doctor's instructions such as fasting after midnight and avoiding blood-thinning and anti-inflammatory medications, advises Healthline. The patient needs to inform the doctor of any allergies as well as other medical conditions. For instance, a patient with kidney disease needs to avoid this procedure as the contrast dye released into the blood can be harmful.

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