Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicians Unveil New Technique For Stroke Analysis; More Sensitive CT Scan Technique Will Bring Precise Diagnosis Into More Hospitals

Date:
September 12, 2001
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found a new way to evaluate acute strokes. The imaging technique will allow physicians to quickly administer the appropriate treatment to a patient who has suffered a stroke or "brain attack." It will also help doctors better predict a patient's clinical outcome.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found a new way to evaluate acute strokes. The imaging technique will allow physicians to quickly administer the appropriate treatment to a patient who has suffered a stroke or "brain attack." It will also help doctors better predict a patient's clinical outcome. The work, published in the September issue of Stroke, results from a collaboration between the MGH neuroradiology and neurology departments.

"People are always looking for imaging tests to fine tune the selection of which patients get which treatments," says lead author Michael Lev, MD, of the MGH Department of Radiology. "Right now, there are very good magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI techniques, such as diffusion imaging. However, MRI is not universally available, and it's expensive."

The MGH-led group found that a special procedure using a CT scan could be performed instead of MRI. "The beauty of this technique is that it can be done on a helical CT scanner, which most emergency rooms already have," says senior author Lee Schwamm, MD, associate director of the MGH Acute Stroke Service.

The procedure involves a type of contrast-enhanced head examination called a perfusion-weighted CT scan that allows physicians to simultaneously look at blood vessels and blood flow to tissues in the brain. "The scan gives us information about the physiology of what's going on during a stroke," says Lev.

The current study consisted of twenty-two patients who each had a stroke and appeared in the emergency room within six hours of symptom onset. The researchers performed perfusion-weighted CT scans of the brain prior to therapeutic angiography and found that the technique allowed them to accurately predict the final size of the stroke and the clinical outcome of each patient. "In the past, people thought of CT scans as being insensitive to the early changes seen in stroke," says Schwamm. "We've demonstrated here that, with subtle changes to current methods, the sensitivity of CT can be increased and we can anticipate the minimum size of the final stroke."

Schwamm adds that the technique may help physicians decide on the proper course of treatment for different stroke victims. Either a ruptured blood vessel or a clot can produce symptoms of a stroke, and there are different subtypes of stroke that are seen when a vessel is blocked by a clot.

Accurate diagnosis is of utmost importance, because current medications can cause more harm than good to patients who suffer a stroke due to a ruptured blood vessel or to those with vessel blockage who already have extensive brain injury at the time of treatment.

In addition, administering treatment as soon as possible is extremely important, because earlier medical intervention is associated with better clinical recovery. The earlier the medical intervention, the better chance of recovery. The new CT scanning technique will now allow emergency room physicians to treat stroke victims quickly and appropriately.

The study was supported in part by research grants from the National Institutes of Health and by an educational grant from GE Medical Systems.

The Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $300 million and major research centers in AIDS, the neurosciences, cardiovascular research, cancer, cutaneous biology, transplantation biology and photo-medicine. In 1994, the MGH joined with Brigham and Women's Hospital to form Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery system comprising the two academic medical centers, specialty and community hospitals, a network of physician groups and nonacute and home health services.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Physicians Unveil New Technique For Stroke Analysis; More Sensitive CT Scan Technique Will Bring Precise Diagnosis Into More Hospitals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010907081809.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2001, September 12). Physicians Unveil New Technique For Stroke Analysis; More Sensitive CT Scan Technique Will Bring Precise Diagnosis Into More Hospitals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010907081809.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Physicians Unveil New Technique For Stroke Analysis; More Sensitive CT Scan Technique Will Bring Precise Diagnosis Into More Hospitals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010907081809.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins