The Neuroradiology program offers state-of-the-art neuroimaging abilities including magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance angiography, spectroscopy, and functional MRI. Anesthesia standby is available for difficult-to-sedate patients, allowing the neurological assessment of uncooperative children and children with significant neurological disabilities who would otherwise be difficult to evaluate.
With advances in technology, doctors at Children’s National are able to treat and diagnose complex vascular conditions of the brain and spinal cord with interventional neuroradiology, a minimally invasive approach that improves patient comfort and outcomes, with minimal radiation exposure.
Nationally, there are only a few doctors specialized in pediatric interventional neuroradiology. Director Monica Pearl, MD is a recognized expert and leads a regional partnership among medical professionals to advance knowledge, share best practices, and ultimately provide the safest care for children.
At Children’s National, Dr. Pearl and her team work closely with related specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, and hematology. This unique collaboration across divisions allows for direct communication and a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the most appropriate care for each patient. The Interventional Neuroradiology service also is available for second opinions and consultations for parents and physicians.
State-of-the-Art Care for Our Patients
Interventional neuroradiology is a nonsurgical alternative for the diagnosis and targeted treatment of neurovascular conditions that affect blood vessels and the flow of blood in the head, neck, and spine. This approach allows patients to recover faster post-procedure.
For an interventional neuroradiology treatment procedure or diagnostic evaluation, doctors use equipment modified for smaller patients and small catheters (tubes) with imaging technology, including ultrasound and fluoroscopy (x-rays) to produce highly detailed images of the blood vessels.
Conditions treated at Children’s National in interventional neuroradiology include vascular malformations, dural arteriovenous fistulas, intracranial and extracranial arterio-venous malformations (AVM), lymphatic and venous malformations of the head and neck, moyamoya disease, vasculopathy, dissection, and stroke.
Interventional Neuroradiology Procedures - What Parents Should Know
The physicians, neuroradiologists (neuroradiographers), and other members of your child’s care team, including technologists and nurses, should have expertise in radiation safety, interventional neuroradiology, and pediatrics to safely perform neuroangiographic procedures in children.
Equipment should be modified or designed specifically for pediatric use. The medical team should strive to use the lowest radiation dose possible while maintaining diagnostic image quality and accuracy. As well, it is important that the care providers have the neuroangiographic expertise to interpret the results of these complex procedures.
As a member of your child’s care team, we encourage you to ask us questions. We want to make sure you understand every stage of care and how interventional neuroradiology is helping our patients and easing stress for families.