Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making Brain Clots Easier To Identify

Date:
April 9, 2007
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
University of Cincinnati neuroradiologists believe a brain imaging approach that combines standard magnetic resonance imaging scans with specialized contrast-enhanced techniques could lead to more effective diagnoses in patients with difficult-to-detect blood clots in veins of the brain.

This image from a high detail contrast-enhanced MR venogram shows areas of restored blood flow (arrows) and areas of persistent blood clot (arrowheads).
Credit: University of Cincinnati Department of Radiology

University of Cincinnati (UC) neuroradiologists believe a brain imaging approach that combines standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans with specialized contrast-enhanced techniques could lead to more effective diagnoses in patients with difficult-to-detect blood clots in veins of the brain.

James Leach, MD, reports these findings in the April issue of the American Journal of Neuroradiology. This is the first study to correlate the clinical importance of data gleaned from standard MRI scans and detailed contrast-enhanced imaging techniques in patients with chronic thrombosis (blood clots) in veins of the brain.

"Detailed contrast-enhanced techniques produce more defined distinctions between abnormal and normal veins in the membrane around the brain," explains Leach, a neuroradiologist and associate professor at UC and principal investigator of the study. "Evaluating patients using a combination of imaging tools could give us a better understanding of the disease process."

Researchers say these specialized techniques--known as contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance venography--produce better defined pictures of difficult-to-detect abnormal flow areas within vessels of the brain. These areas may be important warning signs of blocked blood flow that require medical intervention. The enhanced imaging tools can also help identify areas where flow has been partially reestablished after a vessel blockage has occurred.

Leach and his team used these contrast-enhanced techniques, in combination with standard MRI scans, to evaluate a small subgroup of patients who have clinical and imaging features consistent with what is called partially recanalized chronic dural sinus thrombosis. This is a condition in the membrane surrounding the brain where blood flow has been partially reestablished in a previously blocked vessel.

Research has shown that cerebral veins partially or fully blocked by a blood clot--with or without treatment--can open spontaneously, open partially or remain blocked. These blockages can stop blood flow to the brain and increase the patient's risk for stroke and other neurological episodes such as chronic headache.

"In cases where the patient has an ongoing partial or full blockage," Leach explains, "the blood clot 'organizes' into a more solid lesion, forms connective scar tissue and can develop small vessels in an attempt to restore blood flow. This was very difficult to diagnose correctly using previous techniques."

"We don't fully understand why this happens, but being able to recognize the imaging characteristics of the condition earlier may help us explain patient symptoms--like persistent headache--that otherwise cannot be explained," he adds.

With additional research, Leach believes, this combined imaging approach may one day help physicians formulate better treatment regimens and possibly prevent more serious medical complications for certain patients.

"If we can more easily characterize the patient's problem as chronic instead of acute, it could alter the way we prescribe anticoagulation (clot-busting) drugs to treat the symptoms," says Leach. "Further research is needed to see if this can effectively impact patient therapy clinically."

Collaborators in this study include Michael Wolujewicz, MD, and William Strub, MD, who are both affiliated with the UC College of Medicine and University Hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Making Brain Clots Easier To Identify." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070406140943.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2007, April 9). Making Brain Clots Easier To Identify. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070406140943.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Making Brain Clots Easier To Identify." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070406140943.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
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