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Radiology. 2002 Aug;224(2):353-60.

CT and conventional and diffusion-weighted MR imaging in acute stroke: study in 691 patients at presentation to the emergency department.

Author information

1
Neuroradiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St, GRB285, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To compare the diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in a consecutive series of patients at presentation to the emergency department with symptoms of acute stroke.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Clinical data and images obtained in 691 consecutive patients with suspected acute stroke were examined. Results of first and second head CT and brain diffusion-weighted (DW) and conventional MR imaging were compared with each other and with the final neurologic discharge diagnosis.

RESULTS:

Five hundred seventy-three patients underwent CT at presentation, with 42% sensitivity (95% CI: 37%, 46%) and 91% specificity (95% CI: 82%, 96%). A total of 173 patients underwent a second CT examination, with 77% sensitivity (95% CI: 70%, 84%) and 79% specificity (95% CI: 49%, 95%). Of 498 MR images, 411 were DW, with 94% sensitivity (95% CI: 1%, 96%) and 97% specificity (95% CI: 88%, 100%), and 87 were conventional, with 70% sensitivity (95% CI: 58%, 81%) and 94% specificity (95% CI: 70%, 100%). By using DW MR imaging in the early period (<6 hours after presentation to emergency department), a 97% sensitivity (95% CI: 92%, 100%) and a 100% specificity (95% CI: 69%, 100%) were achieved, compared with 58% (29%-84%) and 100% (16%-100%), respectively, with conventional MR imaging, and 40% (35%-45%) and 92% (84%-97%), respectively, with CT. Negative predictive value was higher with DW MR imaging (73%) than with conventional (42%) MR imaging or CT (24%). In studies conducted within 12 hours, DW MR imaging achieved substantially superior accuracy than did CT. After 12 hours, accuracy was equivalent.

CONCLUSION:

In the diagnosis of stroke in the early period (<12 hours after presentation), DW MR imaging is superior to conventional MR imaging and CT.

PMID:
12147827
DOI:
10.1148/radiol.2242010873
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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