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MRI Images May Pinpoint Time of Stroke
Date:11/2/2010

e us that edge," Ghurabi said. "I've seen it with my own eyes -- a 60-year-old male or female patient comes into the ER and they're not able to move on one side or speak. A couple of hours later [after therapy], they can walk and talk. What more could we as doctors want?"

Dr. David F. Kallmes, an interventional neuro-radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., was also optimistic about Oppenheim's results.

The MRI is "trying to act as a surrogate clock," said Kallmes, who edited Oppenheim's journal article. "Like any imaging technique, it has a certain accuracy but it won't be perfect. It's certainly an innovative approach for patients with stroke-like symptoms."

In October 2008, the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association and the European Stroke Association revised their guidelines to recommend that tPA be used up to 4.5 hours after the onset of an ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet revised its approved treatment window of 3 hours.

A study in The Lancet Neurology also found that a slight increase in deaths and bleeding in an extended treatment group over a three-month follow-up period underlined the notion that treatment within 3 hours -- although not required -- is still optimal.

More information

Review the warning signs of stroke at the American Stroke Association.

SOURCES: Catherine Oppenheim, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at Universite Paris Descartes, France; Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., director, Duke University Stroke Center, Durham, N.C.; Wally Ghurabi, D.O., emergency department director, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, Calif.; David F. Kallmes, M.D., professor of radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; December 2010, Radiology


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