[CT vs MRI in the diagnosis of acute stroke]

M Arias, I Requena, I Pereiro, M E Amigo, M Ventura, L Quintans, A Noya
Archivos de Neurobiologiá 1992, 55 (2): 50-6
70 patients who had suffered an acute stroke (52 ischaemic and 18 haemorrhagic) were studied with CT and MR, performing both techniques during the first week of disease and correlating the findings with the clinical data. MR proved superior in the detection of ischaemic infarcts, specially those in the posterior territory and with a small size; it was also superior to CT in the detection of leukoaraiosis and the demonstration of vascular obstructions. CT failed to detect a small brain stem haemorrhage secondary to bleeding of a cavernoma, while its performance was similar to that of MR in the remaining cases. In all patients with intracerebral haemorrhages, including two who were examined on the first day, an area of increased density was evidenced in the T1 sequences. It is concluded that CT, due to its greater availability and easiness of performance, must be maintained as first choice in acute stroke in order to differentiate haemorrhage from ischaemia, while MR may provide additional information in selected cases.

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