Angiography in the diagnosis of cerebrovascular pathology. Current indications and controversies.

R Manaças, L Cerqueira


The role of cerebral angiography in the diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease is currently being questioned due to both the increasing availability of carotid sonography and the recent introduction of Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA). After a technical foreword about the different modalities available today in Cerebral Angiography, we discuss its present indications (Conventional or Digital subtraction by intra-arterial route), in patients with extra and intra cranial atherosclerotic cerebro vascular disease, subarachnoid hemorrhage and arterial aneurysms, in vascular malformations, particularly arterio-venous malformations (AVM's), in occlusive non-atherosclerotic non hypertensive arteriopathies and in occlusive venous pathology. Although it is possible that the future will show us the progressive replacement of the invasive technologies by MRA, at the present stage of Magnetic Resonance development there is still an important role, if not crucial, for catheter angiography in the diagnosis of most of the diseases producing stroke syndromes.

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