Interventional radiology (abbreviated IR or sometimes VIR for vascular and interventional radiology) is a subspecialty of
radiologyin which minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance. Some of these procedures are done for purely diagnostic purposes (e.g., angiogram), while others are done for treatment purposes (e.g., angioplasty). Pictures (images) are used to direct these procedures, which are usually done with needles or other tiny instruments like small tubes called catheters. The images provide road maps that allow the Interventional Radiologist to guide these instruments through the body to the areas of interest.
The advancements in the field of radiological imaging such as the
Seldinger technique, together with innovations in instrumentation, led to a rapid development in interventional procedures in the 1970s. Cardiovascular procedures were found to be particularly well-suited for guided and minimally invasiveoperations, and catheterization remains as one of the main applications for interventional radiology.
Common interventional imaging methods include
X-rayfluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound (US), and magnetic resonance imaging(MRI). Fluoroscopy and computed tomography use ionizing radiationthat may be potentially harmful to the patient and, in the case of fluoroscopy, the interventional radiologist. However, both methods have the advantages of being fast and geometrically accurate. Ultrasound suffers from image quality and tissue contrast problems, but is also fast and inexpensive. Magnetic resonance imaging provides superior tissue contrast, at the cost of being expensive and requiring specialized instruments that will not interact with the magnetic fields present in the imaging volume.
Common IR procedures are:
Angiography: imaging the blood vessels to look for abnormalities with the use of various contrast media, including iodinated contrast, gadolinium based agents, and CO2 gas.
*Balloon angioplasty/stent: opening of narrow or blocked blood vessels using a balloon; may include placement of metallic stents as well (both self-expanding and balloon expandable).
Chemoembolization: delivering cancer treatment directly to a tumour through its blood supply, then using clot-inducing substances to block the artery, ensuring that the delivered chemotherapy is not "washed out" by continued blood flow.
Drain insertions: placement of tubes into different parts of the body to drain fluids (e.g., abscess drains to remove pus, pleural drains)
Embolization: blocking abnormal blood (artery) vessels (e.g., for the purpose of stopping bleeding) or organs (to stop the extra function e.g. embolization of the spleen for hypersplenism) including uterine artery embolizationfor percutaneous treatment of uterine fibroids. Various embolic agents are used, including alcohol, glue, metallic coils, poly-viny alcohol particles, Embospheres, encapsulated chemo-microsphere, and gelfoam.
Thrombolysis: treatment aimed at dissolving blood clots (e.g., pulmonary emboli, leg vein thrombi, thrombosed hemodialysis accesses) with both pharmaceutical (TPA) and mechanical means
Biopsy: taking of a tissue sample from the area of interest for pathological examination from a percutaneous or transjugular approach
Radiofrequency ablation(RF/RFA): localized destruction of tissue (e.g., tumours) by heating
Cryoablation- localized destruction of tissue by freezing
Line insertion: Vascular access and management of specialized kinds of intravenousdevices (IVs) (e.g. PICC lines, Hickman lines, subcutaneous ports including translumbar and transhepatic venous lines)
IVC filters: - metallic filters placed in the inferior vena cavae to prevent propagation of deep venous thrombus, both temporary and permanent.
Vertebroplasty: percutaneousinjection of biocompatible bone cement inside fractured vertebrae
Nephrostomyplacement: Placing a catheter directly into the kidney to drain urine in situations where normal flow of urine is obstructed. NUS catheters are nephroureteral stents which are placed through the ureter and into the bladder.
Radiologically Inserted Gastrostomyor RIG: Placement of a feeding tube percutaneously into the stomach and/or jejunum.
Dialysisaccess and related intervention: Placement of tunneled hemodialysis catheters, peritoneal dialysis catheters, and revision/thrombolysis of poorly functioning surgically placed AV fistulas and grafts.
*TIPS : Placement of a Transjugular Intrahepatic Porto-systemic Shunt (TIPS) for management of select patients with critical end-stage liver disease and portal hypertension
Biliary intervention- Placement of catheters in the biliary system to bypass biliary obstructions and decompress the biliary system. Also placement of permanent indwelling biliary stents.
Endovenous laser ablation of varicose veins- Placement of thin laser fiber in varicose veins for non-surgical treatment of venous insufficiency
MRI Robot: MRI Stealth Robot Technology
URobotics: New technologies for image-guided intervention
* [http://www.sirweb.org/ Society of Interventional Radiology]
* [http://www.ohsu.edu/dotter/ Dotter Interventional Institute]
* [http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/sitemap/category.cfm?category=ir RadiologyInfo: Interventional Radiology Procedures]
* [http://www.cirse.org/ Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe]
* [http://med.nyu.edu/interventionalrad/ NYU Interventional Radiology]
* [http://www.rtstudents.com/ Online Radiology Resources]
* [http://www.vertebroplasty.com/ Vertebroplasty]
* [http://radinfo.musc.edu/Interventional Medical U. of South Carolina]
* [http://www.uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rID=4958&fID=1475 video] , U. of Washington, 2006, Dr. R.T.Andrews, with introductions. IR for cancer starts at 45 min 30 seconds
* [http://www.radiologyintervention.com/Interventional-Radiology-Articles.html Interventional Radiology Articles]
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