Who we are
Interventional Radiology at Boston Children's Hospital performs more than 6,000 minimally invasive, image-guided procedures each year to diagnose and treat diseases in children. Our interventional radiologists are experts in doing interventions in babies and children of all ages.
Interventional radiology can deliver treatment through catheters or tiny instruments inserted into small punctures or natural body openings with the aid of images made by computed tomography (CT), fluoroscopy (x-ray) or ultrasound. It is routinely used to perform biopsies and to place shunts, feeding and drainage tubes, and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). It can also be an alternative to surgery for serious medical conditions, such as vascular malformations, blood clots and kidney or liver abnormalities.
Our physicians, nurse-practitioners, technologists and nurses are trained in special techniques appropriate to the pediatric patients and use tools and imaging equipment created or modified for children. Because some interventional procedures rely on x-ray technology, we have adapted our equipment and protocols to keep radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable (the ALARA standard) during your child's procedure.
Vascular anomalies: We are a worldwide referral center for the treatment of vascular anomalies for pediatric patients.
Angiography in children: Specialized skills and different catheter systems are needed to successfully perform angiograms—the examination of blood vessels with high-resolution X-rays—on children.
Interventional neuroradiology: Our interventional neuroradiologists are among a handful of subspecialists in North America who routinely treat aneurysms and arteriovenous vascular malformations of the brain and spine in children.
Radiofrequency ablation: This is a technique that allows placement of an electrode through a needle to "burn" certain bone lesions and tumors, reducing pain and usually eliminating the need for major surgery.
Sedation: Our nurses and anesthesiologists work together to determine whether sedation or anesthesia is needed for your child's procedure. Anesthesia is provided by the hospital's anesthesia service, while sedation is administered and monitored by our specially credentialed nurses.
Enteric access: We perform enteric accesses (gastrostomy and jejunostomy tubes) on high-risk children. We also maintain and change these tubes as needed.
Interventionalist featured in National Geographic documentary
A good pediatric nurse is a unique person who has a good sense of children’s growth and development, along with a lot of experience responding to sick children and their families.
Floreen Knight, RN, Clinical Coordinator in the Interventional Radiology Division
Conditions & Treatments
- Central venous line insertion
- Conversion of G to GJ tube and GJ tube exchange
- Endovenous laser ablation
- Needle biopsy
- Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
- Primary percutaneous gastrojejunostomy
- Venography (Venogram)