Cerebral angiography during pregnancy

Hello everybody,

My doctor wants me to do cerebral angiography while I am pregnant. I have read million of medical cases on internet and seems like this procedure is highly unrecommended because it causes different damages of health in kid. Did anyone pass this analysis while pregnancy? What do you think about it? Were there any implications with the kid after kid was born?


Welcome to the board

Very sorry to hear you going through this - or anyone else, for that matter

How far along are you?

This is def a bit of a tough case - hopefully someone else on here has a little more input

Hi, pregnancy is 18 weeks, i expirience almost constant headache. Migraine from time to time with blind spots appearing in my eyes.

Your call -

I don’t know if you have had a angiogram previously. But, it’s def a procedure not for the light of heart & being pregnant makes it so different

Just the anesthesia itself, let alone on what they find

My heart goes out to you lady

I have never done it before but as they use anestesia I assume it must be painful, I am from Ukraine and here they additionally use injection of sedative medication to make me react less to the pain and all the feelings from
angiography; however, my main concern is color flow they inject into patient’s arteria in order to make arterias more visible on x-ray.

I think from pregnant woman perspective, the most dangerous for child is color flow, then x-ray, then sedative medication, anestesia and obviously all the pain and stressed caused by procedure. I really not getting how this type of things should be allowed on pregnant.

Well, you seem to have quite a clear understanding of what is going on

I agree on all the points you made & their order. . . I was awake for my final follow up angiogram. And, what you said is spot on -

As far as it being allowed - the main concern with AVM’s in most cases is it causing a rupture/bleed - my symptoms leading up to my rupture were nowhere near as bad as your’s sound

That’s the reasoning for them to go in & actually look at it - since CT scans & MRI’s aren’t a very precise at looking at the AVM itself

So - it’s the neurosurgeons trying to prevent a bleed. Very unfortunate that you’re timing is quite off for this - but, it can/may be life saving

My prayers are your way - I so wish you good luck:) I hope you do well

What were your simptoms, how was it for you?

I have a whole thread on it on here

But, my symptoms were not very prominent to me. Looking back, they were definitely there

Strong headaches almost randomly, impaired vision in my right eye(my dAVF is on the left side), almost constant heart beat in my left ear & lastly about six months before my bleed - I had spinal fluid start running out of my nose - I thought I just had a cold

Right before the bleed - I had a few quite severe headaches that just felt like extreme pressure behind my eyes

@juguetonadev hi.

I’m not sure that the cerebral angiography is usually done with sedation or general anaesthetic. I think it is more usually done with a local anaesthetic at the insertion point only. I would describe mine as uncomfortable but nothing to be frightened of. Honestly.

The contrast material question is a good one. In an adult, it is like having a hangover after a night of excessive alcohol: the material presumably gets a bit stuck into the smaller vessels and takes a while to be absorbed / flushed through, so it feels like having a hangover. I would discuss the risks to your child from that element of the procedure with the neurosurgeon / interventional radiographer. It will also depend on how much contrast material they end up using: depending on how complex an AVM you have might lead to very few surveys of the arteries required or may mean that they want to look at quite a number of flows, so that would reduce or increase any risks.

The other thing to bear in mind is that if you don’t do something about your AVM, it might be that it could kill you or do you significant damage during your pregnancy, so you do need to think about your own health to make sure you are going to be able to look after your family. Knowing how big or complex an AVM you have may be vital information during your pregnancy.

In terms of the X rays, I would have thought it would have been closely focused on your head, so less likely to affect baby.

You’re definitely in a less usual position and it is good to ask these sort of questions of the doctor.

Everything is about balancing the risks. The risks of leaving it, the risks of looking at it and there may not be a perfect balance. You’ll need to decide, supported by your doctors, what the right balance is in your situation.

The other thing I can think of is whether a CT scan without contrast would show the docs what they need to see, or whether that would have fewer or more risks to baby. The angiogram is definitely the usual best way to assess exactly what is going on, though.

Very best wishes,


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Hi! I’ve actually gone through a cerebral angiogram and craniotomy while I was pregnant in April 2018. I didn’t know I was pregnant at that time and when we all found out, doctors included, we were all shocked. My neurologist was the one who performed the angiogram and he seemed shocked and uneasy that I was pregnant. He told himself that after me, he would double verify pregnancy before performing an angiogram the day before in the case that this happens to another patient. I believe he just wanted to be cautious but, he did seem against it. With that said, it was too late and already done and I just had to be monitored throughout the whole process. I reminded myself that whatever happens happens, I need to get well first in order to be a healthy mommy. When I had my craniotomy, they put a monitor on my belly tracking the heartbeat of my baby. Of course I was so stressed! My child was exposed to radiation, dyes, etc… Recovering wasn’t easy after craniotomy because I had an infant. But my son is here and made me want to recover faster. He is a thriving and healthy two year old now and it didn’t seem to have an effect on him. I was due to have an follow up angiogram after nursing/ pregnancy this year in March, but due to covid it was postponed until further notice. Please continue to talk to your doctors about your concerns. I hope everything goes well and I know it’s very very scary and stressful. You may dm me if you ever need to talk. Also, something that helped me sleep was a noise machine. It helped a lot! A candy wrapper opening would wake me up furiously. It was really hard! Just rest a lot and take it easy. This website provided me with a lot of emotional support. I was always lurking/ just reading people’s stories and the positivity given really helped.


Thank you guys a lot for sharing your stories.

Sharing of success story with no implications on child really filled me with hope.

At the moment, doctors decided to go with conservative approach and just observe me in the hospital to avoid bothering kid inside of me. I do really hope that i will manage to go through all of it and take care of avm after baby is born. Because i cannot handle this stress and put risks on my kid.


Wishing you and baby the best :slight_smile:

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