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Using CT, radiologists can pinpoint cause of some strokes
Date:11/9/2010

multidetector CT examination of the heart, neck and brain vessels with established imaging methods in 46 patients who had recently experienced an ischemic stroke.

Almost half of the stroke cases had cardiac sources, while 20 percent of cases were caused by major arterial atherosclerosis.

Multidetector CT detected cardiac sources of stroke in 18 of 25 cases, for a sensitivity of 72 percent. The technique's sensitivity increased to 100 percent for detection of major arterial atherosclerosis. Overall, multidetector CT facilitated stroke classification in 38 of the 46 patients, or 83 percent.

"CT allows a fast diagnosis and helps to identify the cause of the stroke during a single examination," Dr. Boussel said. "Moreover, because it is quick, the exam is well tolerated, which is critical in acute stroke patients who may be unstable and agitated."

The CT protocol has two main limitations, according to Dr. Boussel. It exposes the patient to a significant radiation dose and requires two intravenous contrast material injections to study the chest and neck areas. Dr. Boussel said that advances in CT equipment technology could help reduce the radiation dose and the total amount of iodinated contrast material required.

Larger studies are needed to validate the results and to analyze the technique's cost-effectiveness.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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