SVIN: A Neurological Society with a New Mission
By Dileep Yavagal, MD
Although, “interventional” may be historically perceived as an oxymoron for the field of neurology, neurologists performing cather-based endovascular interventions are now an integral part of the multidisciplinary field of endovascular neurointervention. In 2002, the ACGME formalized the eligibility of neurologists to obtain training in “Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology” along with neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists. Since then increasing number of neurologists have entered the field and the number continues to grow. This burgeoning group of interventional neurologists formed a new neurological society called “Society for Vascular and Interventional Neurology” (SVIN) in August 2006. The founding members of SVIN felt that the formation of the society would help pursue the group’s mission: To promote excellence in the field of interventional treatment of neurovascular diseases by neurologists.
The SVIN traces its roots to the neurologist Egaz Moniz, who performed the first cerebral angiogram in 1927. However, radiologists took the lead in developing the field with advent of transfemoral catheterization in the 1970s. In the 1980s case reports of intra-arterial thrombolysis for acute stroke re-kindled the interest in this field among neurologists. Early pioneering neurologists invariably had to complete a second residency in radiology before they could get fellowship training in interventional neuroradiology. In 1998, Edgard Periera and Adnan I. Qureshi were the first two neurologists to be accepted into traditional neurointerventional fellowships at New York University and University at Buffalo, respectively. Since then, increasing numbers of neurologists have been accepted and graduated from reputable neurointerventional fellowship programs in the United States. This has been in large part due to the selfless and untiring efforts of stroke neurologists including Drs. Anthony Furlan, Lawrence Wechsler, Camilo Gomez and Walter Koroshetz, who petitioned with the ACGME to formally recognize the eligibility of neurologists to obtain fellowship training in the neurointervention.
In the summer of 2006, Arani Bose, one of the first interventional neurologists and his business partners, Adam Elsesser and Jim Pray came forward with the proposal to help the formation of professional society of interventional neurologists. An invitation was sent to interventional neurologists in the country to come to a meeting in New York City to discuss the formation of the new society. A group of twelve interventional neurologists came together in New York City on August 4th and 5th, 2006. Over the two days, the group formed the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, elected its officers and ratified its by-laws. One of the highlights was the unanimous agreement amongst the founding members that non-interventional vascular neurologists would be core members of this new society along with interventional neurologists. Dr. Adnan I. Qureshi was elected the first president of the new society. Drs. Abou-chebl, Yavagal, and Periera were the other elected officers. The SVIN was formally incorporated in California on August 22, 2006.