Portable, low-field magnetic resonance imaging enables highly accessible and dynamic bedside evaluation of ischemic stroke

Sci Adv. 2022 Apr 22;8(16):eabm3952. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abm3952. Epub 2022 Apr 20.


Brain imaging is essential to the clinical management of patients with ischemic stroke. Timely and accessible neuroimaging, however, can be limited in clinical stroke pathways. Here, portable magnetic resonance imaging (pMRI) acquired at very low magnetic field strength (0.064 T) is used to obtain actionable bedside neuroimaging for 50 confirmed patients with ischemic stroke. Low-field pMRI detected infarcts in 45 (90%) patients across cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar structures. Lesions as small as 4 mm were captured. Infarcts appeared as hyperintense regions on T2-weighted, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and diffusion-weighted imaging sequences. Stroke volume measurements were consistent across pMRI sequences and between low-field pMRI and conventional high-field MRI studies. Low-field pMRI stroke volumes significantly correlated with stroke severity and functional outcome at discharge. These results validate the use of low-field pMRI to obtain clinically useful imaging of stroke, setting the stage for use in resource-limited environments.