To determine the cause of your cerebrovascular symptoms, physicians at the Cerebrovascular Center at Mount Sinai will begin with a diagnostic angiogram. An angiogram is a procedure that enables the physician to visualize blood vessels by x-ray. For the blood vessels to be visualized, they need to be filled with contrast material (x-ray dye). A catheter delivers the contrast to the particular blood vessels the physician wants to see.
This catheter is usually introduced into the body through a blood vessel in the upper part of the thigh. Under x-ray guidance, it is carefully threaded through the blood vessels of the body until it reaches the area of interest. Once the catheter tip is in the proper position, the contrast material is injected while a rapid series of x-ray images are taken.
At the Cerebrovascular Center, most patients receive intravenous sedation before and during the angiogram to make them comfortable and to make certain they do not move when the x-ray images are being taken. Local anesthesia (similar to that used at the dentist) is given in the area in the upper thigh prior to the introduction of the catheter. The patient does not feel the catheter as it passes through the blood vessels of the body, but the patient usually feels a warm sensation when the contrast dye is injected.
When the angiogram is completed, the catheter is removed. The patient usually stays at the hospital for several hours for observation, and most patients go home the same day.
At the Cerebrovascular Center at Mount Sinai, all our angiograms are performed by experienced endovascular surgeons, assisted by a team of health professionals that includes an anesthesiologist, a registered nurse, an x-ray technologist, and a physician's assistant.
These pictures taken during this diagnostic procedure are analyzed and a treatment plan is created.
Klingenstein Clinical Center, 1-North
1450 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10029