Incidence, Clinical Significance, and Longitudinal Signal Characteristics of Ischemic Lesions Related to Diagnostic Cerebral Catheter Angiography

David Schinz, Thomas Zimmermann, Jens Göttler, Dominik Sepp, Claus Zimmer, Tobias Boeckh-Behrens, Jan S Kirschke, Kornelia Kreiser, Hans Liebl

    Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Article (Journal)peer-review


    PURPOSE: Cerebral DSA is a routine procedure with few complications. However, it is associated with presumably clinically inapparent lesions detectable on diffusion-weighted MRI imaging (DWI lesions). However, there are insufficient data regarding incidence, etiology, clinical relevance, and longitudinal development of these lesions. This study prospectively evaluated subjects undergoing elective diagnostic cerebral DSA for the occurrence of DWI lesions, potentially associated clinical symptoms and risk factors, and longitudinally monitored the lesions using state-of-the-art MRI.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty-two subjects were examined by high-resolution MRI within 24 h after elective diagnostic DSA and lesion occurrence was qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated. Subjects' neurological status was assessed before and after DSA by clinical neurological examination and a perceived deficit questionnaire. Patient-related risk factors and procedural DSA data were documented. Subjects with lesions received a follow-up MRI and were questioned for neurological deficits after a median of 5.1 months.

    RESULTS: After DSA, 23(28%) subjects had a total of 54 DWI lesions. Significantly associated risk factors were number of vessels probed, intervention time, age, arterial hypertension, visible calcified plaques, and less examiner experience. Twenty percent of baseline lesions converted to persistent FLAIR lesions at follow-up. After DSA, none of the subjects had a clinically apparent neurological deficit. Self-perceived deficits were nonsignificantly higher at follow-up.

    CONCLUSION: Cerebral DSA is associated with a considerable number of postinterventional lesions, some persisting as scars in brain tissue. Presumably because of the small lesion size and inconsistent location, no clinically apparent neurological deficits have been observed. However, subtle self-perceived changes may occur. Therefore, special attention is needed to minimize avoidable risk factors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)921-928
    Number of pages8
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


    • Humans
    • Incidence
    • Clinical Relevance
    • Brain
    • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
    • Cerebral Angiography
    • Catheters


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