[Comparison of computer tomography and magnetic resonance tomography in the diagnosis of acute intracerebral hemorrhage]

S Kuhn, W Reith, B Ertl-Wagner, V Elste, K Sartor
Der Radiologe 1999, 39 (10): 855-9

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Stroke symptoms are caused in 10 to 15% by intracerebral hemorrhage. From the clinical examination it is often impossible to differentiate intracerebral hemorrhage from cerebral ischemia. To exclude intracerebral hemorrhage as the cause of clinical symptoms a CT is usually performed. The aim of our study was a direct comparison of the sensitivity of Computed Tomography and MRI using different MR sequences for the detection of acute intracerebral hemorrhage.

METHODS: In 8 male Wistar rats intracerebral hemorrhage was induced by infusion of collagenase into the caudate nucleus. After 1hour the brains were subsequently imaged with CT and MRI using T2- and T1-weighted Spin Echo sequences, diffusion-weighted sequences, T2*-weighted gradient echo sequences and FLAIR-sequences. Visibility of the intracerebral hemorrhage was examined using a scoring system from 1 = not visible to 5 = excellent visible. Finally, the intracerebral hemorrhage was verified by histological staining.

RESULTS: In all animals, intracerebral hemorrhage was visible in T2*-weighted gradient echo and diffusion weighted MR images 1 h after infusion of collagenase. T2- and PD-weighted SE images were positive in 7/8 rats. T1-weighted images revealed signal changes in 5/8 rats, and FLAIR sequence was positive in 8/8 rats. In CT intracerebral hemorrhage was only visible in 3/8 rats. When measuring the increase of Hounsfield units within the suspected hemisphere we saw a mean increase of 7% compared to the normal hemisphere in 3/8 rats.

CONCLUSIONS: In this animal model, T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging proved to be the most sensitive imaging modality in the detection of acute intracerebral hemorrhage and is by far more sensitive than CT.

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