Clinical MRI of acute ischemic stroke
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 07/18/2012
Gonzalez RG et al. – In current clinical practice, the time since stroke onset is dominant over physiologic information provided by MRI in treatment decisions. This will change only when clinical trials prove that stroke physiology as revealed by MRI is superior to time from stroke onset in promoting good clinical outcomes.
- The most important service that imaging provides to patients with ischemic stroke is to rapidly identify those patients who are most likely to benefit from immediate treatment.
- This group includes patients who have severe neurological symptoms due to an occlusion of a major artery, and who are candidates for recanalization using intravenous thrombolysis or intra–arterial intervention to remove the occlusion.
- Outcomes for these patients are determined by symptom severity, the artery that is occluded, the size of the infarct at the time of presentation, and the effect of treatment.
- MRI provides key physiological information through MR angiography and diffusion MRI that has been proven to be of high clinical value in identify patients who are in need of immediate treatment.
- Perfusion MRI provides information about the ischemic penumbra, but its clinical value is unproven.