About the Neuroradiology Unit 

In 2008, the department moved into new, purpose built facilities housing a 128 slice CT scanner, a bi-plane and a sinle plane angiography suite, two 1.5T MRI and a Research 3T MRI scanner and an interventional MRI suite. The interventional MRI suite is a unique installation providing operating theatre and MRI capabilities in a single room. The department’s facilities were further augmented in 2010 by the acquisition of new ultrasound equipment and a new digital plain film X-ray room, followed in 2011 by an additional clinical 3T MRI scanner. The department further provides imaging and treatment planning support to a Gamma Knife service which commenced in 2012.

Advanced imaging techniques for diagnosis and treatment are supported by 5 Clinical Scientists, led by Dr. John Thornton, and include fMRI (to locate specific functions in the brain), tractography (to identify white matter tracts) and Arterial Spin Labelling (to non-invasively assess brain perfusion).

Clinical imaging is reported in-house by a team of specialist Neuroradiologists led by 16 consultants. 

The externally reviewed and validated interventional neuroangiography service is a leader in introducing new interventional techniques and supports the hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU) by providing intra-arterial thrombolysis treatment. The department also supports the HASU by providing acute advanced stroke imaging including CT, CTA and MRI with immediate reporting, pivotal for rapid stroke treatment and high patient throughput.

The department has close academic links with the UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN) in which many staff hold honorary appointments. It is linked with the Neuroradiological Academic Unit, led by Professor Tarek Yousry, which is part of the UCL IoN Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, led by Professor Xavier Golay. The Academic Unit develops advanced neuroimaging methods, particularly in the area of functional and physiological MRI, applying them in a number of research domains, such as neurodegeneration (including CJD and Alzheimer’s disease as well as movement disorders), neuro-oncology (including diagnostic, prognostic and treatment planning for neurosurgery), neurovascular diseases (including acute stroke), muscle-wasting neuromuscular diseases, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

The department is the largest Neuroradiological training centre in the UK and, through the UCL IoN Educational Unit offers an MSc in “Advanced Neuroimaging”.

Conditions treated

The department is both a diagnostic and therapeutic service. The interventional neuroradiologists treat conditons endovascularly such as cerebral aneurysms, arterio-venous malformations and fistulae.

Nerve root injections are undertaken together with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for vertebral pathologies.

Service statistics

Approximately 50,000 examinations are performed each year.