Computed tomography in acute ischemic stroke

Lövblad, Karl-Olof ; Baird, Alison

In: Neuroradiology, 2010, vol. 52, no. 3, p. 175-187

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    Stroke remains the third most important cause of mortality in industrialized countries; this has prompted research for improvements in both diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for patients with signs of acute cerebral ischemia. Over the last decade, there has been a parallel in progress in techniques in both diagnostic and therapeutic options. While previously only used for excluding hemorrhage, imaging now has the possibility to detect ischemia, vascular occlusion, as well as detect tissue at risk in one setting. It should also allow to monitor treatment and predict/exclude therapeutic complications. Parallel to advances in magnetic resonance imaging of stroke, computed tomography has improved immensely over the last decade due to the development of CT scanners that are faster and that allow to acquire studies such as CT perfusion or CT angiography in a reliable way. CT can detect many signs that might help us detect impending signs of massive infarction, but we still lack the experience to use these alone to prevent a patient from benefitting from possible therapy