Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is a type of fluoroscopy technique used in interventional radiology to clearly visualize blood vessels in a bony or dense soft tissue environment. Images are produced using contrast medium by subtracting a 'pre-contrast image' or the mask from later images, once the contrast medium has been introduced into a structure. Hence the term 'digital subtraction angiography'.
DSA identifies vascular pathology in 13% of patients with CTA-negative SAH. Intracranial aneurysms or pseudoaneurysms are identified in an additional 4% of patients by repeat DSA following an initially negative DSA. All patients with CT-negative SAH should be considered for DSA. The pattern of SAH may suggest the cause of hemorrhage, and aneurysms should specifically be sought with diffuse or perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage 1).