[Emergency imaging of cerebrovascular accidents]

H A Desal, E Auffray-Calvier, B Guillon, F Toulgoat, A Madoz, A De Kersaint-Gilly, A Pasco-Papon
Journal of Neuroradiology. Journal de Neuroradiologie 2004, 31 (4): 327-33
Over the last 25 years, advances in neuroimaging have significantly changed the evaluation and management of acute stroke syndromes. In the seventies, computed tomography (CT) could differentiate between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is nowadays the imaging modality of choice in the initial assessment of acute stroke. MRI images can better discriminate acute, subacute and chronic infarcts, differentiate venous from arterial infarcts, detect arterial dissection, stenosis or occlusion. Diffusion-weighted images are highly sensitive and specific to acute infarction and the combination with perfusion technique is suitable to define potentially reversible ischemia (area of cerebral "mismatch" which is thought to represent the so-called ischemic penumbra). This penumbra is a potential therapeutic target of valuable interest for the treating physician.

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