Alternate Scan for Strokes Recommended

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 13 (UPI) — CT scans, the current scanning technology used in the diagnosis and treatment of strokes, should be replaced by a different scanning method, neurologists say.

A new guideline in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology says diffusion MRI scans are a more effective tool in diagnosing lack of blood flow to the brain caused by blockages or clots, an academy release said Monday.


CT scans are specialized X-ray images of the brain, while MRI uses magnets and radio waves that show clearer images of brain tissue and where brain damage has occurred, the release said.

The new guidelines say an MRI scan should be considered more useful than a CT scan for diagnosing acute stroke within 12 hours of the first symptoms.

In one large study examined for the guideline, stroke was accurately detected 83 percent of the time by MRI versus 26 percent of the time by CT, the release said.

“Specific types of MRI scans can help reveal how severe some types of stroke are. These scans also may help find lesions early,” said guideline author Dr. Peter Schellinger. “This is important because the research suggests finding lesions early may lead to better health outcomes.”

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