Permanent and temporary neurological complications of catheter cerebral angiography were prospectively evaluated in 500 consecutive diagnostic cerebral angiographic procedures, 268 performed on 213 males and 232 on 175 females. Complications were divided into permanent (> 1 week), reversible (< or = 1 week, > 24 hours), and temporary (< or = 24 hours). There were four permanent (0.8%), one reversible (0.2%), and nine temporary neurological complications (1.8%). There was no death. With the correct selection of patients, catheter cerebral angiography is considered to be safe with acceptable rates of complications.