Intraoperative Angiography | Neurosurgery | Loyola Medicine

Intraoperative Angiography

Imaging Technique for the Treatment of Neurological Conditions

Loyola Medicine employs intraoperative angiography (IOA) as an important, low-risk imaging technique used during neurosurgery. Loyola’s neurosurgeons routinely use this precise diagnostic tool to visualize the blood vessels and blood flow during surgery to ensure normal vascular flow before a procedure has been completed. It uses a contrasting agent or dye and X-rays to see how the blood flows through the brain. 

Intraoperative angiography is used to gather information for several conditions, including:

Sometimes, a variation of this test, called a digital subtraction angiography (DSA), will be performed. In this case, the images of bone and tissue are removed so that only the blood flow is visible on the test images.

Why Choose Loyola for Intraoperative Angiography?

Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. Our neurology and neurosurgery departments are ranked as 28th in the country on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-2020 Best Hospitals list.

As an academic medical center, Loyola provides compassionate, exceptional care to patients and trains future leaders in neurology and neurosurgery. Loyola’s neuro intensive care unit is staffed by certified technologists and trained neurology nurses, who have earned Magnet status.

What to Expect with Intraoperative Angiography

An intraoperative angiography occurs during surgery, and your Loyola medical team will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable. Your head will be carefully positioned with pillows and you will be asked to lie very still while images are taken.

You will be hooked up to an electrocardiogram (ECG) so that we can monitor your heart activity during the test. A tiny puncture will be made, most likely in the groin, and a catheter (thin medical tube) will be carefully threaded up through blood vessels to the brain. Once the catheter is in place, dye is released and images of blood flow are taken. It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete the test. When the test is complete, the catheter will be removed and your surgery will continue. 

What are the Risks of Intraoperative Angiography?

This is considered a low-risk procedure, but complications may occur. These may include:

  • An allergic reaction to the contrast dye
  • Blood clot at the needle insertion site, which may partially block blood from flowing to the leg
  • Damage to the wall of the artery from the catheter, which can block blood flow and lead to a stroke (this is quite rare)