How do we diagnose an AVM?
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is an important tool for diagnosing and following AVMs. MRA uses a powerful magnetic field to produce images of the brain. A special form of MRI, known as MRA, is often used to diagnose or follow known brain AVMs and allows physicians to better evaluate the arteries and veins within the brain. MRA and MRI do not use radiation and are not associated with radiation risks.
Computed tomographic angiography, or CT scans, can be used to diagnose brain AVMs. CT scanners use a series of x-rays and powerful computers to create images of the brain and its blood vessels.
In angiography, a special dye is injected through an IV line, and x-rays of the brain are taken at multiple angles in order to the arteries within the patient’s brain. Angiography is usually performed by a specially trained neuroradiologist or neurosurgeon.