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Angiograms reveal, with great detail, the anatomy of the blood vessels of the brain.  During the procedure,  which is done using a local anesthetic and intravenous sedation, a catheter (tube which goes in the blood vessels) is placed into the femoral artery in the leg, and passed up through the aorta, and then dye is injected into the arteries leading to the brain (carotid arteries, vertebral arteries).  X rays are then taken of the head, from different angles, to image the vasculature (blood vessels) or the brain.  This test is excellent to see aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (blood vessel abnormalities within the brain), and the blood supply to some tumors.  Narrowing of the carotid arteries (known as carotid stenosis)  within the neck can also be seen.  Risks of the procedure are quite low, but do include such complications as bleeding from the artery in the leg, injury to the artery in the leg, and stroke or death from the dislodging of debris within the arteries supplying the brain.



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