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The Role of Imaging in Stroke Diagnosis

The Role of Imaging in Stroke Diagnosis
The Role of Imaging in Stroke Diagnosis

In the United States alone, more than 795,000 people experience a stroke each year. 1 The quicker a stroke is identified and treated, the better the chances for recovery. As May is National Stroke Awareness Month, let’s put the spotlight on the role of imaging in recognizing and responding to stroke symptoms promptly.

What Happens During a Stroke?

During a stroke, there is an abrupt interruption of blood supply to the brain causing the affected brain region to malfunction. Symptoms depend on the region's function and may include paralysis, speech difficulties, and confusion. The severity of a stroke's impact is directly related to the duration of the blood supply disruption.

The Golden Hour

The 'golden hour' refers to the critical window of time after stroke symptom onset during which treatment can significantly affect the outcome. Imaging is a cornerstone of this period, guiding clinicians in making rapid and accurate decisions about patient care.

CT Scans: For Early Detection

Noncontrast computed tomography (CT) scans are often the first step in the imaging process. They are quick and can rapidly distinguish between ischemic stroke, caused by a clot, and hemorrhagic stroke, caused by a bleed. This differentiation is crucial as the treatment for each type of stroke is different.

MRI: For Detailed Diagnosis

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), especially with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), provides a more detailed view of the brain. It's particularly effective in detecting acute ischemic strokes and ruling out other conditions that might mimic stroke symptoms.

Guiding Treatment for Better Outcomes

The role of imaging in stroke diagnosis is not just to confirm the presence of a stroke but to guide the course of treatment. It informs the medical team about the best approach, whether it be clot-busting drugs, surgical intervention, or other therapies. As technology advances, so too does the precision and speed of these imaging techniques, offering hope for better outcomes for stroke patients

Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is proud to offer the latest and most advanced imaging technologies and techniques for better health and wellness.

Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide patients and physicians af ordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient-friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with ef icient service to both our patients and physicians.