Interventional Imaging

A subspecialty of interventional radiology (IR) uses image-guided, minimally-invasive procedures to diagnose and treat various diseases. Interventional radiologists rely on angiography, mobile C-arm and fluoroscopy imaging systems to perform thrombolysis, embolization, biopsies, vascular and other minimally invasive procedures, which can reduce recovery time, risk and costs.

Patients who received an injection had an infection rate of 2.2% at 4-month follow-up. In comparison, the infection rate for the general population in Massachusetts was 7.5% during the same period.


Higher complication rates were observed in inpatient settings and in patients with COPD. Also associated with increased adverse events were prior lung cancer screening and the use of oral anticoagulants or antiplatelets.

A comparison between a traditional iodine contrast angiogram (left), and a gadolinium contrast angiogram (right). MRI gadolinium contrast is starting to be used in some interventional radiology procedures and is being considered in interventional cardiology due to the iodine contrast shortage.

Gadolinium might be an alternative, stop-gap solution for interventional procedures during the current iodine contrast shortage.

The imaging iodine contrast shortage is delaying procedures and causing rationing at hospitals. impact is it having on hospitals and the tough decisions that are being made to triage patients to determine if they will get a contrast CT scan or an interventional or surgical procedure requiring contrast. Photo by Dave Fornell

Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, chair of the department of radiology at the University of Virginia and vice chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors, explains the contrast shortage situation and the tough decisions providers are being forced to make.

Alan Matsumoto explains gadolinium as substitute for iodine contrast during shortage

Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, chair of the department of radiology at the University of Virginia, vice chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors, and chairman of the ACR Commission on Interventional and Cardiovascular Radiology, explains that the iodine contrast shortage has led to use of MRI gadolinium contrast agents in some cases.

Kirk Garratt, past SCAI president, explains the impact of the iodine contrast shortage on interventional cardiology and the cath lab. #SCAI

Kirk Garratt, MD, medical director of the Center for Heart and Vascular Health, ChristianaCare, and a past president of SCAI, explains what this shortage means for interventional cardiologists.

Terry Bowers, MD, director of vascular medicine at Beaumont Hospital and national co-chair of the Pulmonary Embolism Research Collaborative (PERC), explains the trend toward creating pulmonary embolism (PE) response teams that include cardiology. 

All formulations and concentrations of GE Healthcare’s Omnipaque (iohexol) are expected to be in short supply until mid-June due to COVID lockdowns where the contrast is manufactured.

The Woven Endobridge (WEB) device to seal wide-neck intracranial bifurcation aneurysms.

A new study published in Radiology found that mesh plugs that are traditionally used to treat brain aneurysms where the blood vessels branch out can also be effective when used to treat aneurysms on the side of the vessel. 

Experts urged physicians to take extra protective measures when in the presence of metal protheses during procedures and to be vigilant in shielding their eyes from additional exposure. 

knee x-ray

Research found that 68% of patients who underwent a GAE procedure experienced significant reductions in pain and improved overall function.


Survey results published in CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology reveal how interventional departments fared during the first two waves of the pandemic, as well as how organizations are preparing for future outbreaks.

Around the web

There is not agreement among the top structural heart experts if CT is required for left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO), but a Henry Ford Hospital study shows it can improve outcomes.

Ron Blankstein, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, explains recent advances in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) technology. 

With the elevation of cardiac CT to a 1A indication in the 2021 Chest Pain Guidelines, there has been a large amount of interest in starting coronary artery CT angiography (CCTA) programs. 

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