A test to detect very early hemorrhage in acute cerebral infarct could offer a substantial increase in the safety and success of advanced stroke therapies, particularly when the use of thrombolytic therapies is contemplated. Currently, computed tomography is the standard test for the detection of cerebral hemorrhage but is not a valid predictor of potential areas of hemorrhagic transformation. A technique to evaluate the risk of hemorrhagic transformation in infarcted cerebral tissue has been conducted with contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in various animal stroke models. Knight demonstrated Gadolinium-DTPA enhancement in the territory of occluded vessels immediately in rats after reperfusion. Gadolinium enhancement was thought to predict areas of hemorrhagic transformation. Yenari and associates demonstrated in rabbit models that contrast-enhanced T1-weighted scans can reveal regions of blood-brain barrier disruption, characterized as hemorrhagic transformation in ischemic tissue. The authors report a clinical example in which hyperacute contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging was the first indication of hemorrhagic transformation within 24 hours of onset of an acute cerebral infarct.
- Computed tomography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology