What is the role of brain imaging studies in the workup of ischemic stroke?

Updated: May 27, 2020
  • Author: Edward C Jauch, MD, MS, FAHA, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Emergent brain imaging is essential for excluding mimics (SAH, ICH, masses) and potentially confirming the diagnosis of ischemic stroke. Noncontrast CT scanning is the most commonly used form of neuroimaging in the acute evaluation of patients with apparent acute stroke. A lumbar puncture is required to rule out meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage when the CT scan is negative but the clinical suspicion remains high. Multimodal CT imaging with the addition of CT angiography and CT perfusion to NCCT has the potential to identify large vessel occlusions and areas of salvagable tissue.


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