Intravenous angiography in brain death: report of 140 patients

Neuroradiology. 1997 Jun;39(6):400-5. doi: 10.1007/s002340050432.


We present our experience and discuss the value of cerebral intravenous digital subtraction angiography (IV DSA) in the diagnosis of brain death. A total of 140 patients presenting with clinical signs of brain death were studied by IV DSA. According to the angiographic appearance of the vertebrobasilar system, the patients were divided into four groups. Cessation of blood flow within the internal carotid arteries and their branches was consistently found. Attention is focused on 9 patients with persistent blood flow within the posterior fossa. In sedated patients in whom EEG and evoked brain-stem responses are non-diagnostic, or in order to shorten the observation time, transcranial Doppler should be performed to determine the appropriate moment for IV DSA, which is a reliable method of confirming brain death.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain Death / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests