Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Using CT, radiologists can pinpoint cause of some strokes

Multidetector computed tomography (CT) helps pinpoint the causes of ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke, potentially speeding the delivery of life-saving treatments, according to a study published online and in the January issue of Radiology.

"Our results suggest that multidetector CT could become the first-line imaging tool for identifying the cause of acute ischemic stroke," said the study's lead author, Loic Boussel, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at Louis Pradel Hospital in Bron, France.

An ischemic stroke occurs when blockage in an artery, often from a blood clot or a fatty deposit due to atherosclerosis, interrupts blood flow to an area of the brain. This type of stroke can originate in the heart, in the form of a blood clot that travels to the head, or from blood vessels in the neck (extracranial carotid arteries) and head (intracranial arteries). According to the American Stroke Association, ischemic stroke accounts for approximately 87 percent of stroke cases.

Early determination of the cause of ischemic stroke is essential for secondary stroke prevention. Anticoagulant therapy to thin the blood is the treatment of choice for most of the cardiac sources of stroke, while surgery is needed for strokes caused by severe narrowing of the extracranial carotid artery.

Physicians use a combined imaging protocol to determine the cause of an ischemic stroke. The protocol typically includes duplex ultrasonography, MR angiography or CT angiography of the neck and brain vessels, and transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography.

"This approach is time-consuming and expensive, and could delay secondary stroke prevention strategies," Dr. Boussel said.

In the new study, Dr. Boussel and colleagues analyzed the potential of multidetector CT as a faster and more cost-effective way to detect the main causes of ischemic stroke. The researchers compared a single-session multidetector CT examination of the heart, neck and brain vessels with established imaging methods in 46 patients who had recently experienced an ischemic stroke.

Almost half of the stroke cases had cardiac sources, while 20 percent of cases were caused by major arterial atherosclerosis.

Multidetector CT detected cardiac sources of stroke in 18 of 25 cases, for a sensitivity of 72 percent. The technique's sensitivity increased to 100 percent for detection of major arterial atherosclerosis. Overall, multidetector CT facilitated stroke classification in 38 of the 46 patients, or 83 percent.

"CT allows a fast diagnosis and helps to identify the cause of the stroke during a single examination," Dr. Boussel said. "Moreover, because it is quick, the exam is well tolerated, which is critical in acute stroke patients who may be unstable and agitated."

The CT protocol has two main limitations, according to Dr. Boussel. It exposes the patient to a significant radiation dose and requires two intravenous contrast material injections to study the chest and neck areas. Dr. Boussel said that advances in CT equipment technology could help reduce the radiation dose and the total amount of iodinated contrast material required.

Larger studies are needed to validate the results and to analyze the technique's cost-effectiveness.

"Ischemic Stroke: Etiologic Work-up with Multidetector CT of Heart and Extra- and Intracranial Arteries." Collaborating with Dr. Boussel were Serkan Cakmak, M.D., Max Wintermark, M.D., Ph.D., Norbert Nighoghossian, M.D., Ph.D., Romaric Loffroy, M.D., Philippe Coulon, Ph.D., Laurent Derex, M.D., Ph.D., Tae Hee Cho, M.D., and Philippe C. Douek, M.D., Ph.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (

RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

For patient-friendly information on CT, visit

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>