MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s interventional neuroradiology team provides state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for the full range of disorders affecting the blood vessels of the head, neck and spine, including aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and cerebral vascular stenosis.
Our neurologists use advanced imaging techniques including computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance (MR) scans, and transcranial doppler ultrasounds to visualize blood flow and assist in the safe diagnosis and treatment of complex neurovascular disorders.
Experts in Neurovascular Care
At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, we offer the full range of neurovascular treatments available today, including recent advances in microsurgical, endovascular and Cyberknife therapies. The experience and expertise of the interventional neuroradiology team leads to high success rates–the team has performed more than 1,000 neuroendovascular interventions.
Our interventional neuroradiologists are board certified in and have undergone additional fellowship training in their areas of expertise. The Interventional Neuroradiology department works hand-in-hand with the world-class neurologists and neurosurgeons on staff to provide the highest level of individualized care to each patient.
Spotlight on Cerebral Artery Stenosis
We lead the region in the treatment of cerebral vascular stenosis, the narrowing of small arteries inside the brain. Stenosis, caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits or plaque inside the artery, obstructs the flow of oxygen-rich blood through the brain. Cerebral artery stenosis is a potentially life-threatening condition because it greatly increases the risk of stroke, which can lead to severe brain damage or death.
Cerebral vascular stenosis often affects small, twisting arteries that reach deep inside the brain. If you are diagnosed with cerebral artery stenosis, your neurosurgeon will advise you on treatment options based on your symptoms and the severity of narrowing in the artery. Cholesterol-lowering, blood pressure and blood thinning medications can help lower the risk of stroke in patients with cerebral artery stenosis. For patients whose symptoms do not respond to medication, surgery may be recommended to reduce plaque buildup and restore normal blood flow.
If surgical intervention is required, it is important to seek treatment by highly skilled interventional neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons. Treatments available include:
- Balloon angioplasty and stenting, a procedure in which an interventional neuroradiologist makes a small incision in an artery in your groin and inserts a flexible catheter (a long, thin tube) and wire. The catheter is threaded up up to the affected artery in your brain with guidance from a type of X-ray called computed tomography angiogram (CT angiogram) that allows the interventional neuroradiologist to see the arteries of the brain. This technology helps preserve tiny but essential brain arteries. Once the catheter reaches the blockage point, a balloon is inflated to open up the artery, obliterating the plaque. The balloon is then deflated and removed. In some cases, your neuroradiologist will recommend placing a stent (a mesh-like tube) to hold open the artery and allow blood flow through the brain.
- Cerebral artery bypass requires your neurosurgeon to make a small opening in your skull to reach the affected artery. This surgery may be recommended for fully-blocked arteries in which minimally-invasive procedures like balloon angioplasty are not possible. A donor artery from your own scalp is used. The donor artery is first attached to one end of the blockage site. The other end is then connected to an artery on the surface of the brain, bypassing the blockage site and restoring blood flow to affected brain regions.
Learn more about our treatments for a range of neurovascular disorders: