Image-guided procedures, or interventional radiology, use images produced by X-rays, CTs, MRIs and ultrasound that enable doctors to guide small catheters (tubes) and guide wires through blood vessels to diagnose and treat diseases and conditions.
At Mercy, image-guided treatments have had a profound impact on our ability to successfully treat stroke patients up to eight hours after the onset of the stroke.
Such treatments include using a tiny “retriever” that is threaded up to a brain clot to grab and pull it out. Another similar technique break ups and dissolves the clot. In some instances the catheter, guided by real-time images, also delivers doses of a clot-busting drug at the clot site.