Angiogram vs. CT Angiogram

Why would DR.s choose to do an angiogram vs. A CT Angiogram? Is it the visualization or less radiation? It seems a CT Angio would be less invasive than an angiogram via the femoral artery?

visualization with a ct angio looks to be more precise by us 3d imaging to scan the brain..heres what i was able to find,,hope it hekps some

CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating device through the area of interest in the patient's body from several different angles to obtain projection images, which then are assembled by computer into a three-dimensional picture of the area being studied.

The scan is performed simultaneously with a high speed contrast media injection using a technique called Bolus Tracking. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves placing a sizable catheter and injecting contrast material into a large artery or vein, CTA is a much less invasive and more patient-friendly procedure. The contrast material is injected into a small peripheral vein by using a small needle or cannula. This type of exam has been used to screen large numbers of individuals for arterial disease.

Thanks it sounds like a CT is the way to go. I was wondering why people have “follow up” angiograms when the could just have a CT angio, … Unless, since they have access while they are in the femoral they can coil or stent somthing if they need be. Just wondering. Thanks for the info. Appreciate it.

I was told that CT or MRA w/ contrast is fine and great to monitor untreated aneurysms, but that once there are coils and/or stents, the metal can create shadowing effects which make it more hard to really get a good image of the treated aneurysm. The 2 docs I've consulted both do 6mos femoral angios - after that, doc#1 does a MRA at 12 mos post surgery and again maybe at 18 or 24. Doc #2 does the 6mos femoral angio followed by an 18month femoral angio followed by a 30 month femoral angio. He's the one who most clearly explained that he doesn't like the shadowing effects that occur on CT's or MRA'a. Not sure which of those two tracks I'll end up on - but since both agree that you start w a 6mos femoral angio, I'll start there.

Hope that clarifies. Oh - and the 6mos angio doesn't go all the way into the brain, they stop at the neck and release the dye - so it's really (to them anyway) not a big deal, and they don't use general anasthesia, just "twilight."

I know they did CT angiogram for me first…then when they knew they had to coil … I was taken into OR for angiogram…I am not sure why they want to do one over the other with you…but I certainly would inquire with my Docs…Good Luck…! Colleen

I had an MRI/MRA first which showed 1 annie. Then a CT angiogram which showed 2 annie's. They told me no rupture or leak (so dunno why my strange symptoms and extreme headache). Now they're doing an angiogram to make sure no dissected carotid and to really look at both annie's and measure them. I sure don't understand all of this but am very happy to find this site. It has really helped fill in some of the blanks. Thanks to all of you.

Hi Mitch-

when do you have the angiogram? I was first told 1 aneurysm (it was the biggest), then after a 2nd read of the MRA report told I also had a 2mm one, then after the coil/stent surgery told they found a 1.5mm one just above the original larger one that they coiled. Crazy! But hey, as long as they know what's there, they can make a good plan of treatment. Better to know than not know....except for the times that I wish I never knew at all! Keep the updates coming - and hang in there. Oh - and I also have had crazy symptoms that nobody thinks are related to the aneurysms as I also have had no leaks or ruptures, so go figure. My neuro says that migraines can cause pretty much any symptom and mimic lots of more serious neurological problems.


Hi Jennifer C: I had the antiogram Tues and they said carotid's OK and the annie isn't likely to rupture so will just watch it. Another strange item to note is this time they said I have 1 annie, not 2. I saw the scans showing the 2 very clearly so am wondering where it went? I have follow up with neurosurgeon next week and will be sure to ask. It seems they often find others when they're in there but this is the first I've heard of losing one, haha. I know what you mean about wishing I didn't know all this. Now I'm just to forget about it and go on. Dunno if I'll succeed with that tall order but will try. I really feel for all of you that had to have coiling or worse done. I guess I'm very fortunate that I just have to watch mine. Wishing you well.


Jennifer...angiograms have been considered the gold standard...for precision w/the 3D, mapping and what other terminology....They do have the plus side if any treatment can be done immediately. The down side is they have potential for more hazard (right word?), much higher radiation volume (the potential hair loss) and some variance in the contrast dye. I think I read somewhere that the access can be done in areas other than the femoral; something to ask your neuro w/all your questions...

However, I understand that CTA are advancing in quality...what that really means, I do not know...i.e. can they use the CTA during the implants of coils and/or stents, and whatever else; or just for the visualization...

There is a long time after angio before release/discharge, ...and, only minutes after the CTAs...