Three cases of widespread microembolisation of cholesterol crystals following angiography are described. The multiple cholesterol emboli syndrome has been well described as a spontaneous phenomenon and it is surprising that its occurrence during angiography appears rare. Only 19 cases could be found in the literature and these are reviewed. Dissemination of particulate cholesterol material produces irreversible organ ischaemia when a threshold 'dose' is reached. Males and patients with clinical evidence of widespread atherosclerosis are at increased risk. Prognosis is poor and available therapy unsatisfactory.