A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted or if there is bleeding into the brain. Within minutes of a stroke, brain cells are injured and begin to die which causes the person to experience sudden neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness/tingling, trouble speaking and severe headache. Stroke is a medical emergency and prompt treatment is critical. If treated early, brain damage from a stroke can be minimized.
There are three major types of stroke: ischemic, transient ischemic attack (TIA) and hemorrhagic.
How do IRs treat stroke?
Endovascular thrombectomy: Through a tiny incision in the skin, usually in the groin, and using live x-ray guidance, an interventional radiologist can precisely navigate special catheters and stent devices to restore blood flow to the part of the brain that is not receiving blood due to blockage by a blood clot. The faster this blood flow is restored, the better the chances for good recovery from the stroke.
Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting: Narrowing of the carotid artery, one of the main arteries supplying blood flow to the brain, by plaque can lead to increased risk of TIAs and stroke. Through a tiny incision in the skin, usually in the groin, and using live x-ray guidance, an interventional radiologist can treat narrowing of the carotid artery by using a balloon to widen the artery followed by placement of a stent (a tiny mesh tube) to keep the artery open and prevent narrowing from happening again.
Cerebral aneurysm coiling and stenting: A cerebral aneurysm is a bubble of the artery wall which poses risk of bursting leading to hemorrhagic stroke. Interventional radiologists with additional neurointerventional training can treat brain aneurysms with coils (tiny pieces of platinum which fill the aneurysm) and other devices such as special stents called flow-diverters.
Disclaimer: SIR is providing this information as a public service. SIR assumes no liability, legal, financial or otherwise for the accuracy of this information or the manner in which it is used. SIR does not offer medical advice. This information is being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace professional medical advice. It is best to seek advice and attention from your physician or qualified health care professional.