Awardee: Dr. Mihai Radu Ionescu, Neurology Specialist at Neuroaxis – Neurology Clinic, Bucharest, Romania
Host Institution: Interventional Neuroradiology Department, CHU Dupuytren – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Limoges, France
I visited the CHU Limoges Interventional Neuroradiology Department between 29 June and 17 July 2020.
First off, I would like to mention the exceptional team I met there, comprised of: Dr. Geraud Forestier, Dr. Romain Coudert, Dr. Jose Alberto Almeida Filho – INR residents; Dr. Suzana Saleme and Dr. Aymeric Rouchaud – exceptionally talented practicing neurointerventionalists, all headed by the truly globally known figure in the world of neurointervention – Professor Charbel Mounayer. To all of them and especially to Professor Mounayer, I would like to extend my appreciation for the very warm way in which I was welcomed to their department.
During my three-week stay, I had the opportunity of seeing many parts of the diverse field of vascular pathology that Interventional Neuroradiology is involved in:
- Cerebral aneurysm treatment (coiling, balloon or stent assisted coiling, flow diversion etc.)
- Arteriovenous malformation embolization
- Dural arteriovenous fistula treatment
- Carotid cavernous fistulas closure
- Tumor embolization
- Angioplasty and stenting
- even Spinal procedures such as vertebroplasty
Last but not least, mechanical thrombectomy for acute stroke was an almost daily occurrence in the diverse practice of the Interventional Neuroradiology department of the CHU Limoges.
Owing to the extensive experience present in this center and especially that of Prof. Mounayer, there is a large research oriented practice taking place as well. This includes active involvement in most of the large clinical thrombectomy trials taking place in France (e.g. In-Extremis MOSTE and LASTE trials), as well as preclinical animal studies taking place on-site, focused on development of new techniques and devices for neurointervention.
Thanks to the amiability of Dr. Rouchaud, I was able to participate in one of the on-site animal research projects and could learn the necessary steps in animal preparation and techniques involved in a carotid aneurysm rabbit model. This was an enriching experience for me, as I had the opportunity to be involved in all aspects, from device selection and technique to management of complicated cases and post-interventional care.
In my home country, we are still quite far from an ideal stroke system, but we are taking slow and certain steps towards improving almost every aspect involved in stroke care. Therefore, this visit has only cemented my resolve of further pursuing a career in vascular and interventional neurology. I want to become part of the change that needs to happen in Romania and – as I am sure, in many other parts of the world, too. Again, I would like to thank the entire staff of the CHU Limoges Interventional Neuroradiology Department for their warm welcome and I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the ESO for giving me this opportunity.