We examined the incidence of ischemic lesions occurring after cerebral angiography by means of diffusion weighted MR imaging (DWI). Fifty patients were included in this study. Balloon occlusion tests of the internal carotid artery were performed in 9 of the 50 patients. DWI was performed on the same day as the cerebral angiography or on the following day. No new neurological deficits were found after cerebral angiography. However, 13 of the 50 cases revealed new ischemic lesions after cerebral angiography. The incidence of ischemic lesions was significantly different between patients who underwent balloon occlusion tests and patients who did not. The incidence of ischemic lesions was not influenced by the duration of the procedure, use of additional catheters, total amount of contrast material or the type of contrast material. The incidence of clinically silent ischemic lesions related to cerebral angiography is greater than the incidence of neurological complications. In patients who underwent occlusion tests of the internal carotid artery, the incidence of silent lesions was significantly higher than in patients who did not.