Imaging of the brain and cerebral vasculature in patients with suspected stroke: advantages and disadvantages of CT and MRI

Chelsea S Kidwell, Amie W Hsia
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 2006, 6 (1): 9-16
Although neuroimaging remains the foundation for the diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease, ongoing technologic advances have now opened up new frontiers for stroke evaluation and treatment. Neuroimaging studies can provide crucial information regarding tissue injury (size, location, and degree of reversibility of ischemic injury as well as presence of hemorrhage), vessel status (site and severity of stenoses and occlusions), and cerebral perfusion (size, location, and severity of hypoperfusion). This information can be combined to identify patients with salvageable penumbral tissue who may benefit most from acute therapies. The multimodal combinations of advanced imaging techniques, particularly in the realm of CT and MRI, have emerged as the most promising noninvasive approaches to acute stroke evaluation.

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