What is a Neuroradiologist?
Neuroradiology is a subspecialty of radiology focusing on the diagnosis and characterization of abnormalities of the central nervous system, spine, and head and neck. Primary imaging modalities include computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Plain radiography (X-ray) is utilized on a limited basis and ultrasound is used in limited circumstances, particularly in the pediatric population. Angiography is traditionally used for diagnosis of vascular abnormalities, or diagnosis and characterization of masses or other lesions but is being replaced in many instances by CT or MRI angiography and imaging.
Neuroradiologists interpret the tests to assess the neurological symptoms of the patient. A precise diagnosis enables the best outcome. They deliver interpretations of X-rays, magnetic resonance images (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans of the brain, spine and spinal cord, face and neck.
In the United States, Radiology residents are required to spend at least four months learning neuroradiology to be eligible for radiology board certification. Neuroradiology fellowship is a one or two year program which follows diagnostic radiology residency. Interventional neuroradiology is a further subspecialization which adds an additional year or two of training. This area involves endovascular, or minimally invasive diagnosis, and treatment of central nervous system or head and neck lesions such as tumors, aneurysms, vascular malformations, or stroke.