Neurointerventiontional radiology

At the neurointerventional radiology center, guidance by X-ray allows precise positioning of coils, stents and other devices that block the blood supply to brain tumors, aneurysms and vascular malformations, thereby making neurosurgery safer or eliminating the need for surgery altogether.

Thrombolytic drugs are also introduced to prevent stroke by dissolving blood clots in the brain.


The Penumbra SystemTM at ETMC Tyler has dramatically broadened the treatment options for stroke patients.

Offered through the ETMC Neurological Institute, the Penumbra System™ can help save the lives of stroke patients admitted to the ETMC Tyler emergency center and offers an option beyond medications that might otherwise be utilized.

Stroke patients

Physicians treating patients with acute ischemic stroke often have limited treatment options to offer, particularly for those patients who are past the three-hour time window of conventional treatment. This new endovascular device used by interventional radiologists can help restore brain blood flow for up to eight hours after the onset of stroke-like symptoms.

The Penumbra System™ is a package of tools used by neuro-interventional specialists to remove occlusions from the large vessels of the brain causing an acute ischemic stroke.

What is ischemic stroke

Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. Ischemic stroke can be caused by several different diseases but the most common is narrowing of the arteries in the neck or head. There are two main types of ischemic stroke, thrombotic embolic.

  • A thrombotic stroke occurs when diseased or damaged cerebral arteries become blocked by the formation of a blood clot within the brain.
  • An embolic stroke is also caused by a clot within an artery but the clot formed somewhere other than the brain.

How is the Penumbra system used?

With the Penumbra System, a specialist threads a catheeter from the patient’s groin to the artery in the brain being blocked by a blood clot. The special tool suctions the clot from the vessel and out through the catheter.

The system hass been described as being like a vacuum cleaner, suctioning out the blockage. Patient symptoms and negative outcomes are often alleviated.

Stroke facts

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 160,000 people die each year from stroke in the U.S. Strokes can occur at any age but nearly three-quarters occurred in people over the age of 65.

Offered through the ETMC Neurological Institute, the Penumbra System™ can help save the lives of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department and offers an option beyond medications.