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The accuracy of arteriography in detecting vascular defects similar to those encountered during vascular surgery was evaluated experimentally. Intimal flaps, thrombi, and strictures were created in dog aortas and studied under circumstances resembling operating room conditions by single-view portable and serial biplanar contrast arteriography. The specificity of both types of arteriography was comparable and high for detecting vascular defects. The sensitivity for diagnosing strictures was also comparable and high. However, both radiographic techniques were relatively insensitive in the detection of small intimal flaps and thrombi. In the detection of these two types of defects, serial biplanar arteriography was significantly more sensitive than portable arteriography. The degree of the superiority of serial bi-plane and the possible clinical insignificance of small defects indicates that portable arteriography in the operating room may still be an adequate methodology.