School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Faculty Profile

Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, MD
Assistant Professor
(877) 486-7978

book cover

Dr. Rangel-Castilla joined the Department of Neurosurgery as an assistant professor on July 1, 2016 after completing a seven-year residency program at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas. He then completed a cerebrovascular/skull base fellowship at the world-renowned Barrow Neurological Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Spetzler in Phoenix, Arizona. He also completed a two-year fellowship on Neuroendovascular Surgery at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York. Dr. Rangel-Castilla received his medical degree from the University of San Luis Potosi (Mexico).

Dr. Rangel-Castilla is the only neurosurgeon in the Detroit area who performs both open and endovascular cerebrovascular surgery. This unique skill set allows unbiased treatment options ranging from carotid stenting versus carotid endarterectomy, aneurysm coiling versus clipping, and AVM embolization versus resection. Dr. Rangel-Castilla has a keen interest in treating ischemic cerebrovascular disease including carotid revascularization, acute stroke interventions, and EC-IC bypass. He believes a combination of open and endovascular means, working synergistically, holds the key to improving outcomes. His dual training in minimally invasive endovascular neurosurgery and traditional open cerebrovascular neurosurgery gives him the unique ability to treat brain and spine blood vessels conditions from either inside or outside the vessel, depending on the best treatment for each individual patient.

Dr. Rangel-Castilla has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, journal editorials, and neurosurgery book chapters. His research interests include new devices for acute ischemic stroke, cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. He has given numerous talks in major national and international neurosurgery meetings; he has also authored two neurosurgery text books, Neuroendoscopic Surgery published in March 2016 ( and Decision Making in Cerebrovascular Diseases, which will be published in early 2017.

Clinical Interests

Conditions Treated

  • General neurosurgery of the brain and spine
  • Head and spine trauma
  • Brain and spine tumors
  • Skull base tumors
  • Metastasis
  • Hydrocephalus (traditional shunt and minimally invasive endoscopy)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Disk herniation

Specialty Conditions Treated

  • Brain aneurysms
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Intracerebral hemorrhages
  • Arteriovenous Malformations
  • Acute Stroke
  • Carotid artery stenosis
  • Intracranial artery disease
  • Cavernous malformations
  • Brainstem cavernous malformations
  • Arteriovenous fistulas (brain and spine)
  • Moya moya disease

  1. Rangel-Castilla L, Munich SA, Jaleel N, Cress MC, Krishna C, Sonig A, Sndyer KV, Siddiqui AH, Levy EI. Patency of Anterior Circulation Branch Vessels after Pipeline Embolization. J Neurosurg 2016 Jun 10:1-6. [epub ahead of print]
  2. Rangel-Castilla L, Russin JJ, Spetzler RF. Surgical management of skull base tumors. Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2016 Jul-Aug;21(4):325-35.
  3. Rangel-Castilla L, Snyder KV, Siddiqui AH, Levy EI, Hopkins LN. Endovascular intracranial treatment of acute ischemic stroke. J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2016 Feb;57(1):36-47.
  4. Rangel-Castilla L. and Hopkins LN Safety and Efficacy of Stent Retriever for the Management of Acute Ischemic Sroke. JACC: Cardiovascular Interv 2015 Nov;8(13):1766-7.
  5. Rangel-Castilla L. Cress MC, Munich SA, Sonig A, Krishna C, Gu EY, Sndyer KV, Hopkins LN, Siddiqui AH, Levy EI. Feasibility, safety, and periprocedural complications of pipeline embolization for intracranial aneurysm treatment under conscious sedation. Neurosurgery 2015 Sep; 11 Suppl 3:426-30.
  6. Rangel-Castilla L, Spetzler RF. The six thalamic regions: surgical approaches to thalamic cavernous malformations, operative results and clinical outcomes. J Neurosurg 2015 Sep;123(3):676-85. COVER
  7. Rangel-Castilla L, Russin JJ, Britz GW, Spetzler RF. Update on transient cardiac standstill in cerebrovascular surgery. Neurosurg Rev. 2015 Oct;38(4):595-602.
  8. Rangel-Castilla L, Gandhi S, Munich SA, Cress MC, Sonig A, Krishna C, Hopkins LN, Snyder KV, Levy EI, Siddiqui AH. Experience with vertebral artery origin stenting and ostium dilation. Treatment results and clinical outcomes. J Neurointerv Surg 2016 May;8(5):476-80.
  9. Rangel-Castilla L, Nakaji P. Spetzler RF. Normal pressure autoregulation breakthrough theory. 35 years after its original description. Neurosurg Review 2015 Jul;38(3):399-404.
  10. Rangel-Castilla L, Kalani MY, Cronk K, Zabramski JM, Russin JJ, Spetzler RF. Vertebral artery transposition for revascularization of the posterior circulation: A critical assessment of temporary and permanent complications and outcomes. J Neurosurg 2015 Mar;122(3):671-7.
  11. Rangel-Castilla L, McDougall C, Spetzler RF, Nakaji P. Urgent Cerebral Revascularization Bypass surgery for Iatrogenic Skull Base ICA Injury. Neurosurgery 2014 Dec;10 Suppl 4:640-7;discussion 647-8.
  12. Rangel-Castilla L and Spetzler RF. Microsurgical resection of cervical spinal arteriovenous malformation: the pial resection technqiue. Neurosurg Focus (Suppl 2) 37: Video 12, 2014
  13. Rangel-Castilla L, Russin JJ, Martinez E, Soriano H, Nakaji P, Spetzler RF. Molecular and cellular biology of cerebral arteriovenous malformations. A review of current concepts and future trends in treatment. Neurosurg Focus 2014 Sep:37(3):E1.
  14. Rangel-Castilla L, Russin JJ, Zaidi H, Martinez E, Park M, Albuquerque FC, McDougall CG, Nakaji P, Spetzler RF. Contemporary Management of spinal AVFs and AVMs: lessons learned from 110 cases. Neurosurg Focus 2014 Sep;37(3):E14.
  15. Rangel-Castilla L, Chen F, Choi L, Clark J, Nakaji P. Endoscopic approach to colloid cyst: What is the “Optimal” entry point and trajectory. J Neurosurg 2014 Oct;121(4):790-6.
  16. Rangel-Castilla L, Shah AH, Klucznik R, Diaz OM. Preoperative Onyx Embolization of Hypervascular Head, Neck and Spinal Tumors. Experience with 100 Consecutive Cases from a Single Tertiary Center. J Neurointerv Surg 2014 Jan;6(1):51.6.
  17. Rangel-Castilla L, Torres-Corzo J. Flexible Neuroendoscopy Part I: History, Equipment and Indications of Flexible Neuroendoscopy. Contemp Neurosurg 2013; 35 (3): 1-6.
  18. Rangel-Castilla L, Torres-Corzo J. Flexible Neuroendoscopy Part II: Basic and Advanced Endoscopic Procedures and Advantages of Flexible Neuroendoscopy. Contemp Neurosurg 2013; 35 (4): 1-6
  19. Rangel-Castilla L, Barber S, Zhang YJ. The Role of Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in the Management of Obstructive Hydrocephalus World Neurosurg. 2012 Mar;77(3-4):555-60.
  20. Rangel-Castilla L, Holman P, Krishna C, Trask TW, Klucznik RP, Diaz MO. Spinal Extradural Arteriovenous Fistulas: A New Clinical–Radiological Descrption of the Different Types and their Novel Treatment with Onyx J of Neurosurg Spine 2011 Nov;15(5)541-9. 
  21. Rangel-Castilla L, Lara LR, Gopinath S, Valadka AB, Robertson CS. “Cerebral Hemodynamic Effects of Acute Hyperoxia and Hyperventilation after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury”. J of Neurotrauma 2010 Oct;27(10):1853-63.
  22. Rangel-Castilla L, Ahmed O, Goodman JC, Gopinath S, Valadka AB, Robertson CS. L-Arginine Reactivity in Cerebral Vessels after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurol Res 2010 Dec;32(10):1853-63.
  23. Rangel-Castilla L., Gopinath S, Robertson CS. Management of Intracranial Hypertension. Neurol Clin. 2008 May; 26(2):521-41.
Links of Interest