Interventional radiology now makes possible new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to many disease processes. Technological advances in catheter design coupled with newer imaging modalities, eg, ultrasound and computed tomography, make it feasible for the interventional radiologist to gain access to virtually any structure within the body via a percutaneous approach. Disease states can be modified and in some cases definitively corrected by the transcatheter delivery of various pharmacologic or inert agents. Precise localization of abdominal and retroperitoneal masses allows for the safe and accurate percutaneous aspiration biopsy of deep-seated lesions. The use of the skills of the interventional radiologist can speed the diagnostic evaluation of many cases, may eliminate the need for exploratory laparotomy, and may offer new therapeutic approaches where previously there was little or no hope for therapeutic success.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:456-461)