What is the role of CT scanning in the diagnosis of hemorrhagic stroke?

Updated: Apr 22, 2019
  • Author: David S Liebeskind, MD, FAAN, FAHA, FANA; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Computed tomography (CT)-scan studies can also be performed in patients who are unable to tolerate a magnetic resonance examination or who have contraindications to MRI, including pacemakers, aneurysm clips, or other ferromagnetic materials in their bodies. Additionally, CT-scan examination is more easily accessible for patients who require special equipment for life support. See the image below.

Noncontrast computed tomography scan of the brain Noncontrast computed tomography scan of the brain (left) demonstrates an acute hemorrhage in the left gangliocapsular region, with surrounding white matter hypodensity consistent with vasogenic edema. T2-weighted axial magnetic resonance imaging scan (middle image) again demonstrates the hemorrhage, with surrounding high-signal edema. The coronal gradient-echo image (right) demonstrates susceptibility related to the hematoma, with markedly low signal adjacent the left caudate head. Gradient-echo images are highly sensitive for blood products.

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