Neuroradiology at Boston Children's Hospital works closely with pediatric subspecialists in a wide variety of disciplines to provide the highest quality clinical imaging, a service which occupies a central role in the diagnosis and management of patients with congenital, acquired and developmental conditions that involve the central nervous system (brain and spine) and head and neck. Our pediatric neuroradiologists utilize a range of imaging technologies - including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diagnostic cerebral angiography - to visualize the central nervous system and head and neck in fetuses, babies and children.
Based on the clinical expertise of our neuroradiologists, neuroimaging can be used to detect, diagnose and monitor a wide range of conditions, including identifying possible causes of epileptic seizures, measuring a tumor’s response to treatment and assessing aneurysms. Neurointerventional radiologists at Boston Children’s Hospital perform image-guided endovascular treatments for vascular disorders of the brain, head and neck, and spine that would otherwise require surgery.
Our pediatric neuroradiologists are experts in the developmental and maturational changes of the fetus, newborn infant and child. Imaging tests are tailored to provide the critical information required to diagnose and monitor conditions that affect the growing and developing babies and children of all ages. The imaging protocols minimize radiation when using CT or fluoroscopic equipment. MR exams are designed to be as brief as possible in order to maximize the chance of a cooperative child being able to undergo the exam without monitored anesthesia care. Our techniques include the use of video goggles and motion reduction sequences. Our interventional neuroradiologists are among a handful of subspecialists in North America who routinely image and treat aneurysms and arteriovenous vascular malformations of the brain and spine in children.
Each of our clinicians has a specialized area of expertise within the field of pediatric neuroradiology, and provides consultations for challenging cases within their subspecialty. In addition to their specialized clinical focus, our neuroradiologists are involved in research within their respective areas that is changing the way neuroradiology procedures are performed and interpreted across the nation.
We are home to the national Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium’s Neuroimaging Center, which analyzes images and data from 11 research centers nationwide in an effort to further understand and develop effective treatments for children with brain tumors.
Boston Children's Hospital is one of the few centers in the world that specialize in minimally invasive, image guided treatments for disorders of the brain, head and neck, and spine in babies and children.
The Neurointerventional Radiology program, led by Director Darren B. Orbach, MD, is a component of Neuroradiology in the Radiology Department. It is also closely affiliated with the hospital's Vascular Anomalies Center and the departments of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Surgery.
Blood flows normally through a toddler's basilar artery two years after a ruptured aneurysm was repaired with embolization coils (seen in the original image at left and by the blue arrow at right).By threading catheters and tiny instruments through your child's blood vessels, a neurointerventional radiologist can assess and treat conditions for which surgery has traditionally been needed. This can reduce risk, pain and recovery time.
Because of their unique anatomy and small size, neurointerventional procedures in babies and children require special techniques, along with tools and equipment that have been created or modified for pediatric use. Our entire team--interventional radiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, technologists and recovery room staff--all specialize in caring for children undergoing interventional radiology procedures.
Arterial diseases of the brain: Arterial disorders such as stroke, Moyamoya Disease and aneurysms are rare in children, but they do occur. We perform angiograms to determine the nature of the problem and intervene with therapeutic procedures, when appropriate. Intra-arterial treatment for acute stroke, currently offered only to adults at specialized centers, is being pioneered in children here.
Arteriovenous malformations: When veins and arteries in the brain, head and neck, or spine become entangled and establish pathological flow patterns, they can cause problems that range from mild to potentially life-threatening. We use minimally invasive techniques to visualize and evalute the malformation in great detail and--where possible--cut off the supply of blood to the abnormal vessels (embolization). These treatments may be effective on their own for some conditions (such as Vein of Galen Malformation), or they may be part of a set of procedures that includes surgery (for many brain AVMs, for example).
Facial and extracranial vascular malformations: The hospital is a worldwide referral center for the treatment of vascular anomalies in babies and children. We are experts in the non-surgical treatment of these conditions and we also work closely with vascular and plastic surgeons to formulate combined treatment options.
Venous disease: Conditions such as venous sinus thrombosis may require catheter-based intervention.