Spinal Angiogram

Spinal Angiogram in Thousand Oaks, CA | VNSC

A spinal angiogram, also known as a spinal arteriogram or spinal angiography, is a diagnostic test used to examine the blood vessels in the spinal cord. It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of contrast dye into the spinal arteries while under X-ray guidance. The contrast dye makes the blood vessels visible on X-ray images, allowing the endovascular surgeon to assess the blood flow and detect any abnormalities.

Dr. M. Asif Taqi is a quintuple board-certified neurointerventionalist specializing in the treatment of complex cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke, aneurysms, and arteriovenous malformations. He is the founder of Vascular Neurology of Southern California (VNSC), a leading center for the diagnosis and treatment of neurovascular conditions in the region. Dr. Taqi has extensive experience performing spinal angiograms and other minimally invasive procedures to help his patients achieve the best possible outcomes.

Learn more about spinal angiograms by reading on or contacting Vascular Neurology of Southern California today. We have Southern California offices in West Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Lancaster, as well as a Las Vegas, NV, location.

Why is a Spinal Angiogram Performed?

A spinal angiogram is typically performed when there is suspicion of a spinal cord vascular abnormality, such as an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), fistula, tumor or aneurysm. Symptoms that may indicate the need for a spinal angiogram include:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Weakness or paralysis in the arms or legs
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty walking
graphic of brain

How Do I Know if I Need a Spinal Angiogram?

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above or have been diagnosed with a spinal vascular abnormality through other imaging tests, such as MRI or CT angiography, a spinal angiogram may be recommended to provide more detailed information about the abnormality and to help guide treatment decisions.

Your neurointerventionalist will evaluate your medical history, symptoms, and other diagnostic tests to determine if a spinal angiogram is needed. They will also discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have. If a spinal angiogram is recommended, your vascular neurologist will provide you with instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, including any dietary restrictions, medication changes, or other considerations.

How is a Spinal Angiogram Performed?

Before the procedure, patients will receive general anesthesia to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. A small incision is made in the groin or wrist, and a thin, flexible catheter is inserted through an artery and guided up to the spinal arteries. Contrast dye is then injected through the catheter while X-ray images are taken.

The procedure typically takes between 1-2 hours, and patients are monitored closely for a few hours after the procedure to ensure there are no complications.

Schedule Your Spinal Angiogram with VNSC Today

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a spinal cord vascular abnormality, such as those listed above, contact Vascular Neurology of Southern California (VNSC) to schedule a consultation with Dr. M. Asif Taqi and his team of experts. We are committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients and are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health outcomes.

Spinal Angiogram in Thousand Oaks – FAQs

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks and potential complications associated with a spinal angiogram. These may include:

  • Allergic reaction to the contrast dye
  • Bleeding or bruising at the site of catheter insertion
  • Infection
  • Damage to blood vessels or organs
  • Stroke or heart attack (rare)

After a spinal angiogram, the length of time it takes to recover can vary depending on the individual and any potential complications that may have occurred during the procedure. In general, patients may need to stay in the hospital for a few hours or overnight for observation before being discharged. They should avoid any strenuous activity for at least a day or two and refrain from any heavy lifting or rigorous exercise for several days to a week. The incision site may be sore or bruised for a few days, and patients may experience some numbness or tingling in the affected limb, but this typically resolves within a few days to a week. It’s important to follow any specific instructions provided by the interventional neurologist or healthcare team to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

Whether an angiogram or MRI is better depends on the specific medical situation and what information the doctor is looking to gather.

An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of internal structures within the body, including the spinal cord and brain. It can be used to detect a wide range of medical conditions, including abnormalities in the spinal cord and blood vessels, as well as other soft tissue and bone abnormalities.

In general, an angiogram is more invasive than an MRI and carries a slightly higher risk of complications such as bleeding,stroke or infection. However, an angiogram can provide more detailed information about blood vessels than an MRI and is often the preferred test in particular situations. Ultimately, the choice between an angiogram and an MRI depends on the specific medical situation and the doctor’s recommendations.

A spinal angiogram typically does require general anesthesia, but a local anesthetic may be used to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. The anesthetic is usually given through an injection at the site of the catheter insertion, which may be in the groin or the wrist.

It’s important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about anesthesia or sedation with your neurointerventionalist prior to the procedure. They can provide more detailed information about the specific medications and techniques that will be used, as well as any potential risks or side effects.