Interventional Neuroradiology

Head Cases: Interventional Neuroradiology

At Hartford Hospital, patients with disorders of the arteries or veins, such as aneurysms, blood clots and stroke, are treated with the most advanced minimally invasive techniques available today.

Gary Spiegel, MDVascular disorders of the brain include aneurysms (weaknesses in the blood vessel wall that can rupture); arteriovenous malformations (tangles of blood vessels); and blood clots that cause stroke. Hartford Hospital interventional neuroradiologist Gary Spiegel, MD of Jefferson Radiology is a national leader in using minimally invasive, and vascular procedures to treat these often life-threatening conditions.

To treat any of these problems, doctors thread a slender catheter
through a small incision in the patient’s groin, guiding it inside the blood vessels to the site of the aneurysm, malformation or clot. As they do so, they observe the procedure on a fluoroscope.

They then fill the aneurysm with tiny coils to prevent blood from flowing through it, which reduces pressure and risk of rupture. For a malformation, they use a glue-like substance to cut off the blood flow to the cluster. In the case of stroke, they can either use a tiny “hook” to snare the clot and remove it or inject medication that dissolves the clot. In the past, even if these conditions could be treated—and many, especially stroke, couldn’t—doing so required surgical opening of the skull, disruption of brain tissue and weeks of recovery.


With these minimally invasive procedures, “There’s often virtually no recovery time," says Dr. Spiegel, a nationally-recognized specialist who is Co-Medical Director of the Stroke Center.

"We are one of the busiest centers in the Northeast for treatment of acute strokes and the only center in Connecticut that regularly treats acute stroke with intra-arterial techniques,” he observes. "With our 24/7 Stroke Center, neuro-intensive care unit and full range of specialized physicians, we surpass what patients will find even in New York or Boston.”

Photo Top Right: Hartford Hospital interventional neuroradiologist Gary Spiegel, MD

Minimally Invasive Surgery