Diagnosing and Treating Disease
Interventional radiology is a subspecialty of radiology in which physicians use imaging equipment to perform minimally invasive procedures for both diagnostic and treatment purposes. There are many types of interventional radiology, including:
Neurointerventional radiology uses minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat a wide range of cerebrovascular disorders (involving the brain, head, neck, spine and spinal cord regions).
Cerebral angiography uses a catheter, X-ray imaging guidance and an injection of contrast material to examine blood vessels in the brain for abnormalities such as aneurysms and disease such as atherosclerosis (plaque). The use of a catheter makes it possible to combine diagnosis and treatment in a single procedure. Cerebral angiography produces very detailed, clear and accurate pictures of blood vessels in the brain and may eliminate the need for surgery.
Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Lines
A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is a long catheter that extends from an arm or leg vein into the largest vein near the heart and typically provides central IV access for several weeks, but may remain in place for several months. These catheters are called "midline catheters" when they are placed in a way that the tip of the catheter remains in a relatively large vein, but doesn't extend into the largest central vein. They may have one or two lumens and some may be able to be used for CT contrast injections.
Some blockages of the veins or arteries are too difficult to open with catheters and balloons. Surgery may be needed to bypass the blockage. If that is the case, a dialysis catheter may need to be placed in a neck vein to allow you to receive dialysis temporarily until a surgeon is able to fix or revise your dialysis fistula or graft.
A biopsy is the removal of a sample of cells or tissue via a hollow needle or scalpel to discover the presence, cause or extent of a disease.
A lumbar puncture uses a thin, hollow needle and a special form of real-time X-ray called fluoroscopy to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for lab analysis. It also may be used to deliver an injection of chemotherapy or other medication into the lower spinal canal.