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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013 Nov-Dec;34(11):E117-27. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A3690. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Imaging recommendations for acute stroke and transient ischemic attack patients: A joint statement by the American Society of Neuroradiology, the American College of Radiology, and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

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Departments of Radiology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.


Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Imaging plays a critical role in evaluating patients suspected of acute stroke and transient ischemic attack, especially before initiating treatment. Over the past few decades, major advances have occurred in stroke imaging and treatment, including Food and Drug Administration approval of recanalization therapies for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. A wide variety of imaging techniques has become available to assess vascular lesions and brain tissue status in acute stroke patients. However, the practical challenge for physicians is to understand the multiple facets of these imaging techniques, including which imaging techniques to implement and how to optimally use them, given available resources at their local institution. Important considerations include constraints of time, cost, access to imaging modalities, preferences of treating physicians, availability of expertise, and availability of endovascular therapy. The choice of which imaging techniques to employ is impacted by both the time urgency for evaluation of patients and the complexity of the literature on acute stroke imaging. Ideally, imaging algorithms should incorporate techniques that provide optimal benefit for improved patient outcomes without delaying treatment.

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