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Neuroradiology is a subspecialty of radiology which examines neural structures (neck, head, nervous system, and spinal cord) through radiographic imaging. Neuroradiologists diagnose neurological conditions, perform some minimally invasive treatments, and direct patients to appropriate care options. Conditions which neuroradiologists may assess include aneurysms, strokes, neural injuries, tumors, vascular (blood vessel) abnormalities, and spinal conditions.
Imaging or scans which a neuroradiology may request and review include:
These imaging technologies allow neuroradiologists to perform critical treatment.
For a catheter angiogram, neuroradiologists use a catheter and X-ray, CT, or MRI scan to view the interior of the neural structure. The catheter is inserted into the body through a tiny incision. After that, neuroradiologists may examine heart blood vessels for tumors, aneurysms, and malformations. They will see an image of the vascular (blood vessel) structure on a video monitor. Following the angiogram, neuroradiologists may perform treatment such as embolization. Brain aneurysm embolization involves a tiny metal coil that is set inside an aneurysm (bulging blood vessel). The coil inhibits the blood vessel from bursting.
For carotid artery stenosis, neuroradiologists conduct a CT scan to identify specific areas where plaque has built-up. They may then provide vascular stenting, where a small stent is placed to open up the carotid artery. For an angioplasty, neuroradiologists insert a tiny balloon within the artery and expand for greater blood flow.
Patients are referred to a neuroradiologist by another doctor. Neuroradiologists may collaborate with neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroanesthesiologists, and ophthalmologists (eye doctors).