Neurological Intervention & Imaging Service of WA (NIISwa)

The Neurological Intervention & Imaging Service of Western Australia (NIISwa) provides a state-wide service for both tertiary and quaternary diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology.

It is headquartered at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital but services are also provided at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH), Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Perth Children's Hospital (PCH), with a staff of 10 full time neuroradiologists.

NIISwa was commenced on July 1 2007 as the first specialist neuroradiology Department in Australasia, amalgamating the neuroradiology staff and services at RPH and SCGH into one, state-wide department.

The diagnostic neuroradiology service has long provided advanced neuroimaging in the diagnosis and evaluation of brain and spine conditions, including perfusion and functional imaging. It also provides a variety of spinal and paraspinal percutaneous procedures, including myelography, lumbar puncture (including for chemotherapy), lumbar drain, facet joint injection, epidural injection, nerve root sleeve injection, and treatment for low CSF pressure states. In early 2018 NIISwa commenced a hyper-acute imaging read-out service for country patients with severe stroke to facilitate rapid transfer to Perth for those who are candidates endovascular therapy. It is also planned that NIISwa will provide interpretation of the neurological scans when the intraoperative MRI scanner, which is now installed at SCGH, becomes operational in the very near future.

The interventional neuroradiology service has provided direct clinical inpatient care for more than a decade, supported by a dedicated neurointervention clinical team. This includes endovascular treatments for intracranial aneurysms, craniocervical and spinal vascular malformations, craniocervical vascular stenotic and occlusive diseases (e.g. carotid stenting), and more recently, endovascular treatment for intracranial hypertension. We also provide direct clinical care through inpatient referral by other specialities for subarachnoid haemorrhage, subdural haemorrhage, periresectional tumour devascularization, craniocervical trauma and epistaxis (severe nosebleeds).

In October 2016 NIISwa commenced a 24/7 state-wide service for mechanical thrombectomy (MT), a groundbreaking endovascular treatment for severe stroke, at SCGH. In February 2017 the in-hours MT stroke service was expanded to FSH.

The service also accepts referrals from outside the public hospital system (general practitioner or specialist); a dedicated neurointervention outpatient clinic service is run 5 days a week.

The service currently performs around 1600 neurointerventional procedures per year and is one of the busiest centres worldwide, and regularly trains subspecialists from around the world.

Last Updated: 22/06/2020