Accurately interpreting CT brain scans when more advanced scans aren't available

September 3, 2014

Drs. Cheemun Lum and Dar Dowlatshahi have published a new study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke concerning the use of standard, plain CT head images versus imaging that combines higher resolution, thin-slice CT angiography images with more advanced CT perfusion imaging, which shows blood flow. The study focused on patients who had clots blocking large blood vessels in the brain that were removed with a retrieval catheter inserted into the leg artery and guided to the blocked brain artery. Drs. Lum and Dowlatshahi found that the CT angiography images were able to better show areas of brain tissue that were injured compared to plain CT imaging. Understanding what areas are already injured can help predict who is most likely to benefit from this treatment. In addition, this study shows that accurate interpretation of subtle changes on readily available CT angiography can be as useful as the more advanced perfusion imaging, which may not be available in all medical centres.

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