Clinical application of perfusion and diffusion MR imaging in acute ischemic stroke

J Magn Reson Imaging. 1999 Sep;10(3):305-9. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1522-2586(199909)10:3<305::aid-jmri11>;2-1.


With the advances in new neuroimaging modalities, the role of imaging of acute ischemic stroke has broadened and progressed from making diagnoses to providing valuable information for patient management. The goal of thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke should be to salvage the ischemic tissue reversibility that can respond to recanalization and avoid reperfusion of the dead (nonviable) tissue. It is essential to have rapid diagnostic modalities that can distinguish viable ischemic tissue from irreversibly damaged tissue, because there is a risk of reperfusion injury such as hemorrhagic complications with early intervention. Although diffusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has been reported to have a high sensitivity and specificity for acute ischemia in acute stroke patients without early reperfusion therapy, the capability to differentiate reversible from irreversible ischemia by diffusion MR imaging has not been established. Perfusion MR imaging techniques provide direct information on parenchymal perfusion status (adequacy of the collateral circulation) and may have the potential for providing important information about tissue viability and/or reversibility for selecting appropriate patients for thrombolytic therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Contrast Media
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Thrombolytic Therapy


  • Contrast Media