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Radiology and Radiological Science

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Procedures at the Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy

cat patient looking into an mri machine

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To learn more about CIGAT, send an email to or call 410-502-7325

The Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy (CIGAT), located at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, focuses on bringing cutting-edge minimally invasive diagnostics and procedures to the veterinary pet population. A one-of-a-kind resource for pets and their owners, CIGAT encourages collaborations and cooperation between veterinarians, surgeons, physicists, computer scientists, biomedical engineers, chemists, imaging technologists and veterinary technicians to deliver the safest and most effective results in a minimally-invasive form.

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Image-Guided Biopsy

Image-guided biopsy is a method used to obtain tissue samples from areas of the body that are difficult to reach, for example, bone tissue, tissue near the heart or in the lungs, tissue in the brain or near the spinal cord, etc. A veterinarian may use MRI, CT, ultrasound or a combination of these imaging modalities, depending on the specific disease process and which technique is most appropriate. All tissue specimens are delivered to a veterinary laboratory specialized in analyzing the type of tissue obtained. Image-guided biopsy is a minimally-invasive procedure resulting in little to no side effects to the veterinary patient. Speak with a CIGAT veterinarian regarding specific questions for an individual pet.


Cryoablation is an alternative technique that is used for cancer treatment. Using small needles or rods placed under image guidance, extreme cold can be targeted to cancer cells to kill them by alternating periods of freezing and thawing. Cryoablation is painless, but it is performed under general anesthesia to prevent movement in pets. For many pets, cryoablation can be performed as an outpatient procedure, and your pet can go home the same or next day. Cryoablation can be used as a palliative treatment for cancers when surgical removal is not an option. Talk to a CIGAT veterinarian about specific questions for an individual pet.