Imaging of acute stroke prior to treatment: current practice and evolving techniques

Br J Radiol. 2014 Aug;87(1040):20140216. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20140216. Epub 2014 Jun 17.


Standard imaging in acute stroke is undertaken with the aim of diagnosing the underlying cause and excluding stroke mimics. In the presence of ischaemic stroke, imaging is also needed to assess patient suitability for treatment with intravenous thrombolysis. Non-contrast CT is predominantly used, but MRI can also exclude any contraindications to thrombolysis treatment. Advanced stroke imaging such as CT and MR angiography and perfusion imaging are increasingly used in an acute setting. In this review, we discuss the evidence for the application of these advanced techniques in the imaging of acute stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods