Acute stroke is one of the three major causes of death and disability in the United States. Now that new, and possibly effective therapy is becoming available, accurate, rapid diagnosis is important to provide timely treatment, while avoiding the risk of complications from unnecessary intervention. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that use of echo-planar (EPI) diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is more accurate than conventional T2 weighted MRI in predicting progression to stroke in patients with acute ischemic neurologic deficits. We studied 134 patients presenting with acute neurologic deficits to a community hospital emergency room with both conventional MRI and DWI within 72 h of the onset of the acute deficit. We found DWI significantly more sensitive to permanent neurologic deficit at discharge (sensitivity 0.81) than conventional MRI (sensitivity 0.41). When available, DWI should be considered for routine use in patients being imaged for acute stroke.
- Brain, infarcts
- Diffusion-weighted imaging
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine