An angiogram, also called an arteriogram, is an X-ray image of the blood vessels. It shows blood flow to tumors and can help determine if a tumor can be removed. This test helps guide treatment options for cancers including, brain cancer, spinal tumors, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer.
It is also performed to evaluate various vascular conditions, such as an aneurysm (ballooning of a blood vessel), stenosis (narrowing of a blood vessel), or blockages.
A cerebral arteriogram is an arteriogram of the blood vessels of the brain.
An arteriogram involves inserting an arterial catheter (a long thin tube) into a large blood vessel and injecting contrast dye. This contrast dye causes the blood vessels to appear opaque on the X-ray image. This allows the doctor to better visualize the structure of the vessel(s) under examination.
Many arteries can be examined by an arteriogram, including the arterial systems of the legs, kidneys, brain, and heart.
For a cerebral arteriogram, arterial access is usually obtained in the femoral artery in the groin.
Occasionally, the brachial artery in the arm may be used, and, in very rare instances, the carotid artery in the neck may need to be used. The femoral artery is most commonly used because it is easier to access. Once the catheter is inserted, the contrast dye is injected, and a series of X-ray pictures is made. These X-ray images show the arterial, venous, and capillary blood vessel structures and blood flow in the brain.