Computed tomography angiography and computed tomography perfusion in ischemic stroke: A step-by-step approach to image acquisition and three-dimensional postprocessing

Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2006 Jun;27(3):243-70. doi: 10.1053/j.sult.2006.03.001.


Recent technical advances in both image acquisition and postprocessing have enabled computed tomography angiography (CTA) with computed tomography perfusion to become front-line tools for acute stroke evaluation in many institutions. This article provides a step-by-step approach to utilizing these technologies, particularly in the rapid triage of appropriate stroke patients to reperfusion therapies. The specific contrast injection, image acquisition, and 3D postprocessing protocols for high-quality CTA, currently in use at our institution, are delineated. An important point of emphasis is how preliminary angiographic and cerebral perfusion observations can be made immediately at the scanner to expedite emergent therapy. Also explored is the manner in which a dedicated 3D lab can support a high clinical volume, including a large percentage of emergent studies. An accurate yet time-efficient approach for the neuroradiologist to integrate 3D interpretation with CTA source data review is offered. Several important imaging and interpretive pitfalls in stroke CTA are illustrated.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography / methods*
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Contrast Media*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Technology, Radiologic
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media