Houston Methodist’s neurological interventional radiologists specialize in evaluating and diagnosing conditions affecting the brain, head, neck and spine. Neuroradiology is a diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive procedure that enables our radiology team to help patients suffering from potentially life-threatening conditions affecting the central nervous system.
Why Choose Houston Methodist for Neuroradiology
We are recognized as experts in providing endovascular treatment and embolization for conditions, including intracranial aneurysms, strokes, artery blockages, tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF). Our state-of-the-art facilities and technologies enable our neurological interventional radiologists to perform the procedures described below to assess your specific condition and recommend the best possible treatment.
Neurological interventional radiology procedures can also help greatly reduce the risks to a patient undergoing a surgical procedure or help avoid surgery altogether, significantly reducing hospital stays and speeding up recovery times.
Neurological Interventional Radiology Procedures
Carotid Stenting: Atherosclerosis
is the most common cause of artery disease and occurs when plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, causing them to narrow and harden. After a physical exam and tests to determine if you have the disease, carotid stenting may be a recommended treatment option that involves the insertion of a small metal tube known as a stent to widen the carotid artery (the vessel responsible for blood flow to the brain) if it has been hindered by plaque build-up.
Cerebral angiography uses a contrast (dye), along with X-rays, to look at blood flow within the brain. It can help confirm or evaluate conditions like an aneurysm or a cranial dural fistula (abnormal connections between the arteries in the brain). Early diagnosis can help lead to a much faster recovery and avoid serious, life-threatening complications.
- Endovascular neuroradiology is used to diagnose or treat aneurysms of the aorta and distal arteries, carotid artery disease and arteriosclerosis of the aorta and peripheral arteries. These minimally-invasive procedures are catheter-based processes, combined with the use of radiology, to assess and treat a range of conditions and diseases.
Endovascular Treatment of Aneurysms
Endovascular treatment of aneurysms is a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure that uses X-rays to guide a needle through an artery to the aneurysm. A coil system is then placed inside the aneurysm to reduce or block blood supply to the aneurysm to decrease risk of rupture or bleeding.
Endovascular Treatment of AVM/AV Fistulas
Endovascular treatment of AVM/AV fistulas is used when arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) occur, which happens when blood vessels in or on the brain are tangled and cause blood to bypass brain tissue, diverting it instead directly from arteries to veins. This catheter-based procedure is used with a series of X-rays as a guide to reach the fistula to block the incorrect blood flow.
Intracranial stenting is used to treat intracranial atherosclerosis, which occurs when the blood vessels at the base of the brain become narrowed by plaque build-up. Following a number of diagnostic tests, minimally invasive intracranial stenting is recommended, which often begins with a balloon angioplasty (the insertion of a balloon-tipped catheter into an intracranial artery to widen it and flatten the plaque), followed by the placement of a stent (mesh tube) to keep the artery open and allow more blood to flow through the artery. This procedure can be a successful alternative to bypass surgery.
A petrosal sinus sampling test is used for assessing pituitary tumors, which could lead to Cushing’s disease. Using catheters inserted along the petrosal sinuses and closely monitored by X-rays, radiologists are able to draw multiple adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) samples to determine whether the patient suffers from Cushing’s disease or Cushing’s syndrome.
Spinal angiograph is a precise diagnostic procedure to evaluate the blood vessels that surround the spinal cord. Conditions that can be diagnosed include dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), along with other disorders affecting the venous system of the spinal cord.
Spinal embolization is a minimally invasive procedure using 3-D imaging techniques to assess an area that is bleeding or needs blood flow to be blocked, such as in the case of a spinal tumor or an AVM. Clotting agents are applied directly to the area, which may also be done prior other surgical procedures being performed.
Tumor embolization is used to shut down the blood supply to a tumor, following a cerebral or spinal angiogram to identify the blood supply to a tumor. This can help reduce bleeding during surgery.
Wada test: A catheter-based angiogram using contrast (dye) is performed to assess the blood flow within the brain prior to a Wada test to ensure no blockages exist. The Wada test can determine which side of your brain controls the language function to determine memory function capability and is frequently used for epilepsy patients prior to surgery.