Brain & Spine Imaging
Our board-certified radiologists investigate pathologies and injuries of the head, neck and spine, using the most advanced imaging technologies available. Some of those techniques include MR spectroscopy, cerebral angiography, NeuroQuant, special contrast agents, fluoroscopy, discography, myelograms, functional brain imaging (perfusion), bone scans and many others.
We also treat disorders in those areas of the body, using procedures such as vertebroplasty, facet injections, aneurysm coiling and stents, which can facilitate or replace more expensive and invasive surgeries.
Using mainly CT and MRI, as well as X-rays and ultrasound, neuroradiologists diagnose abnormalities of the central and peripheral nervous system, spine, and head and neck. Interventional neuroradiologists treat those problems, which may include head and neck lesions, tumors, aneurysms, vascular malformations, stenosis (carotid and intracranial), traumatic injuries or strokes.
We collaborate with neurosurgeons, head and neck surgeons and other specialists to provide the highest quality diagnosis and treatment for our patients. From screening to treatment planning, from sinus problems to lumbar pain, we provide comprehensive expertise in this specialty area.
Since multiple disciplines often overlap in these complex pathologies, we emphasize a collaborative approach and provide a range of advanced diagnostic and minimally-invasive surgical procedures. They range from pain management to tumor embolization.
What are my brain imaging options?
Myelography is an X-ray of the structures in your spinal column to evaluate spinal tumors, spinal cord swelling and herniated (slipped) disks. It uses a contrast agent, injected into the spinal canal, to illuminate the spinal cord and nerve roots. In some cases it is followed by a CT. Myelography can help with surgical planning decisions.
NeuroQuant is new software that improves the early detection and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It is a brain imaging technique. It precisely measures the brain atrophy (shrinkage) by measuring the size of the hippocampus and other brain structures that typically deteriorate with these disorders. This information helps doctors make a diagnosis and follow the progression of the disease.
NeuroQuant evaluates the patient’s MRI for brain atrophy and compares the results to an FDA-approved database of people of the same age that have healthy brains. It can help provide an early warning for patients who have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Studies have found a correlation between hippocampus size and AD onset.
NeuroQuant can monitor changes in the atrophy over time to determine if and how quickly the disease is progressing. It also may help to measure the impact of treatments and identify those patients most likely to benefit from aggressive intervention.
Although normal-sized brain structures can’t rule out dementia, high-functioning patients concerned about mild, but increasing, memory loss are likely to be reassured by results in the normal range.
We provide a range of interventional procedures for the management of spinal pain. They include:
- Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are procedures that treat spinal fractures or compressed / collapsed vertebrae, often performed by a neuroradiologist. Vertebroplasty is the injection of a cement-like material into the bone to make it more stable. In kyphoplasty, the doctor first creates space by inflating a balloon-like device in the bone. The space is then filled with the cement material.
- Discography is a procedure used to confirm that an abnormal disc is the culprit of pain. It is often used prior to a more invasive surgical procedure, to gather more information before that next step is taken. A contrast agent is introduced, and after the procedure a CT scan identifies leakage from the discs to identify any spinal disc herniation.
- Facet and SI joint injections are used to alleviate joint pain, such as with arthritis or injury, or to determine the exact cause of pain. Under X-ray guidance, a clinician injects anesthetic directly into the joint or anesthetizes the nerves to carry pain signals away from the joint.
- Nerve root injections are used to help ease back and leg pain when a nerve is inflamed or compressed as it passes from the spinal column between the vertebrae. The injection contains a steroid medication or anesthetic and is administered to the affected part of the nerve.
- Epidurals can be diagnostic (an isolated nerve is injected with anesthetic to see if it is the source of pain) or therapeutic (both an anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory medication, such as a steroid (cortisone), are injected near the affected nerve).
We provide both spinal and cerebral angiography, which use a special dye (contrast material) to evaluate blood flow. The spinal procedure allows clinicians to obtain an extremely precise evaluation of the blood vessels surrounding the spinal cord. Cerebral angiograms monitor blood flow to the brain. In both cases, your heart rate is closely monitored during the exam.