Diagnosis of acute ischaemic stroke with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and diffusion-weighted sequences

Neuroradiology. 2000 Aug;42(8):602-7. doi: 10.1007/s002340000356.


We evaluated the feasibility and use of diffusion-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery pulse sequences performed as an emergency for patients with acute ischaemic stroke. A 5-min MRI session was designed as an emergency diagnostic procedure for patients admitted with suspected acute ischaemic stroke. We reviewed routine clinical implementation of the procedure, and its sensitivity and specificity for acute ischaemic stroke over the first 8 months. We imaged 91 patients (80 min to 48 h following the onset of stroke). Clinical deficit had resolved in less than 3 h in 15 patients, and the remaining 76 were classified as stroke (59) or stroke-like (17) after hospital discharge. Sensitivity of MRI for acute ischaemic stroke was 98%, specificity 100%. MRI provided an immediate and accurate picture of the number, site, size and age of ischaemic lesions in stroke and simplified diagnosis in stroke-like episodes. The feasibility and high diagnostic accuracy of emergency MRI in acute stroke strongly support its routine use in a stroke centre.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / pathology*