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Neuroradiology. 2004 Jan;46(1):44-8. Epub 2003 Dec 4.

MRI in acute subarachnoid haemorrhage; findings with a standardised stroke protocol.

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Division of Neuroradiology, Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg Medical Centre, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120, Germany.


There is doubt as to whether acute haemorrhage is visible on MRI. We carried out MRI within 6 h of symptom onset on five patients with minor (low Hunt and Hess grades 1 or 2) subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) diagnosed by CT to search for any specific pattern. We used our standard stroke MRI protocol, including multiecho proton density (PD)- and T2-weighted images, echoplanar (EPI) diffusion- (DWI) and perfusion- (PWI) weighted imaging, and MRA. In all cases SAH was clearly visible on PD-weighted images with a short TE. In four patients it caused a low-signal rim on the T2*-weighted source images of PWI, and DWI revealed high signal in SAH. In the fifth patient SAH was perimesencephalic; susceptibility effects from the skull base made it impossible to detect SAH on EPI DWI and T2*-weighted images. Perfusion maps were normal in all cases. MRA and conventional angiography revealed an aneurysm in only one patient. Stroke MRI within 6 h of SAH thus shows a characteristic pattern.

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