​Overview of the Neuroradiology Program

At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Neuroradiology Program services are among the highest in demand within the Imaging Institute. The program’s highly knowledgeable team of caregivers assists other specialties in the diagnosis of neurologic conditions (conditions of the nervous system) and provides imaging-based treatment for neurologic disorders.

The Imaging Institute’s Neuroradiology Program is divided into two sections: 

  • Diagnostic neuroradiology: Utilizes computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), and ultrasound to diagnose neurologic disorders. Minor procedures under imaging guidance are also part of this branch of the program.
  • Interventional neuroradiology: Uses the hospital’s angiographic theatres to perform major vascular procedures such as treatments of stroke, aneurysm (bulge in an artery that can cause it to leak or break), and vascular malformations (vein or lymph vessel abnormalities present at birth).

Western-trained neuroradiologists and neurointerventionists use state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive expertise with a focus on personalized, Patients First care.

What We Treat

The Neuroradiology Program is a cutting-edge and rapidly growing subspecialty at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. The expert imaging team works with neurologists and other physicians to assist in the diagnosis of a range of neurologic, ear, nose, and throat disorders, including:

  • Stroke
  • Brain lesions (such as an aneurysm)
  • Epilepsy (neurological condition characterized by seizures)
  • Multiple sclerosis (autoimmune disease that affects signals coming to and from the brain)
  • Prolapsed disc (also called a herniated disc or slipped disc) 
  • Neurodegenerative disorders (like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases)
  • Hydrocephalus (abnormal expansion of spaces in the brain caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid)
  • Vascular malformations (vein or lymph vessel abnormalities present at birth)
  • Pituitary disorders (conditions that involve an imbalance of hormones produced by the pituitary gland)
  • Sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Head and neck lymphadenopathy (also called adenopathy, a condition characterized by lymph node abnormalities)
  • Brain tumors and other tumors of the nervous system

Diagnosis & Treatment with Neuroradiology

The Imaging Institute’s Neuroradiology Program receives patient referrals from the Neurological Institute​ and other specialties for imaging studies that assist in disease diagnosis and treatment. The studies offered include computed tomography (CT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography/ computed tomography (PET.CT).

Imagining Studies Offered by the Neuroradiology Program

Computed Tomography (CT)

CT scans, use x-ray beams to take a series of images. This exam takes approximately 15 to 30 seconds to complete. CT scans may or may not require a contrast dye that enhances the image to be administered using an IV. Patients may be instructed not to eat for several hours before the examination if contrast dye will be used.

Experts at the Neuroradiology Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi conduct a range of highly specific CT studies, including:

  • Head CT without contrast: A scan of the head performed without an IV.
  • Head CT with contrast: A scan of the head that requires an IV to administer contrast dye.
  • Spine CT: A scan of the spine that can be performed with or without contrast dye, which is administered through an IV.
  • Sinus CT: A scan of the sinuses performed without contrast dye.
  • Neck CT: A scan of the neck, which usually requires an IV injection of contrast dye.
  • CT scan with myelogram: A scan that involves a thin needle inserted into the spine to inject contrast dye into the nerves. The contrast dye highlights the nerve roots on the CT images. 
  • CT brain perfusion: A scan of the head that uses contrast dye to map blood flow around the brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI uses magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the body without the use of ionizing radiation. An MRI scan takes about 25 to 45 minutes to complete and may involve an intravenous injection of contrast dye to enhance certain details. Patients undergoing a scan that requires contrast dye will be instructed not to eat or drink for six to eight hours before the procedure. Patients with a history of claustrophobia or patients who have MRI-incompatible implants, such as a cardiac pacemaker, cochlear implant, or intracranial aneurysmal clips, should inform their doctor before scheduling this study. MRI scans offered as part of the Neuroradiology Program include:

  • MRI of the brain without contrast: A scan of the head with no IV insertion.
  • MRI of the brain with contrast: A scan of the head where an IV is inserted to administer contrast dye that highlights certain parts of the brain.
  • MRI orbits: Also known as an orbital MRI an eye examination in which an IV is usually needed to administer contrast dye.
  • MRI of the skull base: A scan of the base of the skull, where an IV is usually needed to administer contrast dye.
  • MRI of the spine: A scan of the cervical, thoracic and/or lumbar spine, which can be done with or without the use of contrast dye administered through an IV.
  • MRI brain perfusion: A scan that generates images of blood flow in the brain.
  • MRI spectroscopy: An MRI technique that measures brain metabolism to compare normal brain tissue with abnormal brain tissue, such as tumor tissue.
  • MRI contrast dynamic exam: An MRI technique measuring the function and activity of tissues. 
  • MRI diffusion tensor imaging: Also called a DTI, an MRI technique that detects structural changes in tissues.

Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET.CT)

A PET.CT scan is an advanced technique that uses x-rays to take both moving and still images of the inside of the body. The examination, typically used for brain imaging, utilizes a radioactive dye (called a radiotracer) to enhance the image. A patient may be referred for a PET.CT for a variety of evaluations, such as prior to surgical treatment of epilepsy or for early diagnosis of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease). A PET.CT scan takes about 30 minutes, with 60 minutes of preparation prior to the scan. Patients undergoing a PET.CT scan should not eat or drink anything except water for six hours before the scan, and should not consume caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine the day before or the day of the scan.

Neuroradiology Program Caregivers

The Neuroradiology Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Imaging Institute is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of knowledgeable physicians, technologists, and nurses. Caregivers involved in patient care as part of the Neuroradiology Program are:

  • Diagnostic neuroradiologists
  • MRI technologists
  • CT technologists
  • PET.CT technologists
  • Imaging nurses


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