1 min
Published on August 19, 2020

Already early in the development of X-ray imaging, contrast agents were developed to make the insides of hollow structures, such as the esophagus or blood vessels, in the body visible to physicians. While angiography first enabled only the diagnosis of vessel malformations and obstructions, today interventional radiology enables physicians to directly treat the patient and spare them invasive surgery.

Staying Competitive in the Rapidly Evolving Field of Interventional Radiology

As the range of applications has expanded, interventional radiology (IR) procedures have become more complex. The number of older, comorbid patients who can be treated with IR has also increased. This evolving role presents both enormous opportunities and pressing challenges to institutions looking to position themselves to meet future demand and remain competitive.

Planning Ahead Makes All the Difference for a Successful PAE

Interventional radiology procedures are often gentler to the patient compared to surgery. To be successful, however, such procedures need very thorough preparation. Glen Schlaphoff, Director of Interventional Radiology, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia, speaks about his pre-intervention planning for prostatic artery embolization (PAE).

A plumber for blood vessels

In angiography, the radiologist uses a catheter to inject a contrast agent that will visualize “hollow” vessels such as arteries and veins. Multiple X-ray images taken in quick succession allow the physician to observe where the circulation is disrupted by the narrowing of a blood vessel, for example. Prior to 1963, this narrowing could be treated only by using a scalpel, but then Charles Dotter, invented interventional radiology – by accident.