Neurointerventional Radiology

The UMass Memorial team of super specialty fellowship-trained neurointerventional radiologists are world famous for their expertise in treating stroke, brain tumors and other vascular (blood flow) conditions of the brain and central nervous system.

With their extensive training and today’s most advanced imaging technology, they perform groundbreaking minimally invasive surgery. UMass Memorial was the first hospital in the United States to introduce low radiation X-rays for treatment of brain and spine conditions.

This team is also involved in clinical trials and studies to develop new devices and imaging technology, giving you access to the very latest advances in neurointerventional treatment. Treatments that are available to the patients at UMass Memorial long before they become available at other centers.

Because of this expertise, patients come from around the world to seek treatment from the UMass Memorial neurointerventional radiology team. As a result, today we have one of the busiest programs of its kind in the entire Northeast.

The Conditions Neurointerventional Radiology Can Treat

Neurointerventional radiologists can treat a wide variety of conditions:

  • Stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic)
  • Brain aneurysms (bulges on an artery wall)
  • Brain and spinal tumors (benign and malignant)
  • Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs, a tangle of abnormal connections between arteries and veins)
  • Narrowed carotid and intracranial (within the skull) arteries
  • Blood clots in the veins and arteries of the retina (part of the eye)
  • Dural arteriovenous fistulas (abnormal connections between arteries and veins on the surface of the brain)
  • Hemangiomas (benign tumors made up of blood vessels)
  • Spinal vascular malformations
  • Nosebleeds
  • Spine bony fractures and tumors in the spine

How Neurointerventional Radiology Works

Neurointerventional radiologists advance tiny tubes called catheters into the body, typically through an artery or vein. Using radiology imaging – like X-rays or MRI – they guide the catheter to the site of a tumor, blood clot, aneurysm or other problem.

Once at the site, they can use special equipment to treat the problem. This approach to treatment is called endovascular, because it takes place inside a blood vessel. This approach is minimally invasive either through the artery of the groin or artery of the arm/ hand. The access site is usually less than 3mm.

Neurointerventional Radiology Procedures Performed at UMass Memorial

UMass Memorial has a state-of-the art neurointerventional radiology suite – equipped with the latest imaging technology – where all our minimally invasive procedures are performed, including:

Lifesaving Stroke Treatment

UMass Memorial is designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Our team is available 24/7, and we perform more neurointerventional procedures to treat stroke than any other hospital in the state, including:

  • Delivering clot-busting drugs to dissolve a blood clot that is blocking blood flow to the brain and causing a stroke.
  • Using state-of-the-art clot retriever devices to mechanically remove the clot and restore blood flow. We have authored a technique to treat strokes using stent-retriever and local aspiration which is now adopted throughout the world.
  • We also help prevent strokes by placing tiny stents to prop open narrowed carotid, basilar and vertebral arteries (arteries that supply blood to the brain).

Brain Aneurysm Treatment

UMass Memorial is a leader in endovascular treatment of brain aneurysms. The highly experienced team at UMass Memorial offers minimally invasive treatment for brain aneurysms:

  • Flow diverter technology – We pioneered the development and use of this device that is placed in the artery to divert blood flow away from an aneurysm
  • Coil embolization – Used for treating ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, curled platinum coils are released into abnormal blood vessels, obstructing blood flow
  • Balloon-assisted and Stent-assisted coil embolization - Aneurysms which have a wide neck on the main vessel are treated with either having a temporary balloon or a stent implanted in addition to the coils for the aneurysm treatment

Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty for Back Pain

These minimally invasive procedures are done to treat spinal compression or compression fractures that may be caused by osteoporosis, tumors or other conditions.

  • Kyphoplasty involves inflating a balloon at the fracture site then filling it with bone cement, which provides stability, restores its former shape and prevents future collapse of the vertebra.
  • Vertebroplasty involves injecting bone cement through a small hole in the skin directly into a fractured vertebra to help relieve the pain of osteoporotic compression fractures.
  • Spine Radiofrequency Ablation: Minimally invasive neurointerventional radiology techniques such as vertebral augmentation and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) have shown progressive success in improving function by reducing pain in many patients with symptomatic spinal metastases.

Research to Develop New Treatments and Technology

Working closely with the UMass Memorial New England Center for Stroke Research, we are continually developing and testing new interventional approaches, imaging technology and medical devices for treating cerebrovascular diseases (diseases of the blood vessels that supply the brain).

This means that our patients often have access to new treatments before they’re available anyplace else, and our doctors have more experience with a new device even before it’s FDA approved. The patients can access this cutting edge in technology at UMass Memorial in the neurointerventional radiology.

Extensive Support and Education Resources

The Division of Neurointerventional Radiology at UMass Memorial Medical Center is committed to continued medical education. The division holds regular presentations and lectures for EMS (Emergency Medical Services) personnel, Emergency Department staff, rehab facilities and other health care personnel. Team members provide knowledge and information about standards of care and latest technology available to treat brain and spine conditions. During office consults and/or during a hospital stay, patients and their family members are given extensive educational material and resources for further education regarding their needs.

Expert Care, Close to Home

Dealing with an illness is difficult enough without the added inconvenience and expense of traveling into Boston. With the depth and breadth of medical and surgical expertise available at the hospitals of UMass Memorial Health Care, your patients have close-to-home access to high-quality diagnostic and treatment services, some that you can’t get anywhere else in the New England region. We offer a specialized and superior level of personalized care.

Team Approach that Includes the Referring Physician

As a primary care physician or specialist who refers a patient to us, you are an integral member of our team. You are informed about each patient you refer to us with timely follow-up after any intervention. Our neurointerventionalists and advanced practice providers are always accessible by telephone, pager and email, any time of day or night.

How to Make a Referral

Call our dedicated scheduling coordinator at 508-334-8329, 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). She is available to answer any questions related to the referral and scheduling process, and is a liaison to the rest of our neurointerventional radiology team.

Our service offers:

  • Easy and quick access
  • Timely consultation with a member of our Neurointerventional Radiology team
  • Access to our advanced practice providers for questions and to assist with care coordination
  • Specially trained staff members dedicated to neurointerventional  procedures

How to Schedule a Patient

Physicians requesting a consult with a member of the Neurointerventional Radiology team should fax the following information to 774-441-6421:

  • Signed consult request (please include office telephone number)
  • EPIC consult to Neurointerventional radiology

If you have any questions or would like to make a referral, please call us at 508-334-8329 or email at