Imaging the penumbra in acute stroke

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2006 Jul;8(4):281-9. doi: 10.1007/s11883-006-0005-0.


Imaging continues to have a huge impact on the understanding of the ischemic penumbra and the management of acute stroke. Determinants of penumbral tissue fate, such as age, hyperglycemia, hematocrit, and oxygen concentration, are increasingly being recognized using neuroimaging. The significance of the penumbra in the white matter and in posterior circulation stroke is also becoming clearer. Neuroimaging is also making invaluable contributions to clinical decision making in acute stroke, especially in relation to reperfusion therapies in the 3- to 6-hour time window. Despite ongoing questions over the choice of parameters to identify the penumbra and their respective clinical usefulness, imaging is gaining widespread use in acute stroke management. However, definitive evidence of its benefit is still lacking. This review explores the recent progress and controversies relating to imaging of the penumbra.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Stroke / pathology*