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Australas Radiol. 2002 Sep;46(3):221-30.

Computed tomography perfusion imaging in acute stroke.

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Southern X-ray Clinics, School of Physical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


The development of thrombolytic and neuroprotective agents for the treatment of acute stroke has created an imperative for improved imaging techniques in the assessment of acute stroke. Five cases are presented to illustrate the value of perfusion CT in the evaluation of suspected acute stroke. To obtain the perfusion data, a rapid series of images was acquired without table movement following a bolus of contrast medium. Cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume and mean transit time were determined by mathematically modelling the temporal changes in contrast enhancement in the brain and vascular system. Pixel-by-pixel analysis allowed generation of perfusion maps. In two cases, CT-perfusion imaging usefully excluded acute stroke, including one patient in whom a low-density area on conventional CT was subsequently proven to be tumour. Cerebral ischaemia was confirmed in three cases, one with an old and a new infarction, one with a large conventional CT abnormality but only a small perfusion defect, and one demonstrating infarct and penumbra. Perfusion CT offers the ability to positively identify patients with non-haemorrhagic stroke in the presence of a normal conventional CT, to select those cases where thrombolysis is appropriate, and to provide an indication for prognosis.

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