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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2001 Oct;22(9):1690-7.

Multimodality MR imaging depiction of hemodynamic changes and cerebral ischemia in subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Section of Academic Radiology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England.



Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a common and serious neurologic emergent condition. We tested the hypothesis that multimodality MR imaging depicts changes in cerebral blood flow SAH, before any surgical or endovascular intervention, and that the frequency of these changes increases with time after ictus.


We prospectively examined 37 patients with suspected SAH and three with symptoms of acute stroke but who subsequently had SAH. Routine CT and multimodality MR imaging were performed within 18 h of presentation. Standard MR imaging, diffusion-weighted MR imaging, time-of-flight MR angiography, and dynamic first-pass gadolinium-enhanced MR perfusion imaging were performed. Images were reviewed for abnormalities in cerebral blood flow, ischemia, and infarction. Nine patients did not have SAH at CT and CSF investigations. Of 31 patients with proved SAH, 13 were examined during the acute stage (within 4 d of ictus) and 18, during the subacute stage (4-14 d after ictus).


MR imaging showed alteration in cerebral blood flow parameters in 16 of 31 patients before surgery or endovascular treatment. The frequency of blood flow changes and associated complications increased with worsening clinical grade and increasing time after ictus.


Multimodality MR imaging provides information not available from CT in patients with SAH. MR imaging shows oligemic and ischemic areas in SAH before surgery or endovascular treatment. MR imaging is a simple noninvasive method of assessing cerebral blood flow and its complications in SAH. It can be performed in a clinical environment.

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