Purpose: To evaluate the usefulness of fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequences in the detection of acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
Materials and methods: MR imaging with FLAIR sequences was performed with a 0.5-T superconducting unit in 20 patients (aged 30-72 years) with acute SAH due to a ruptured aneurysm and in 27 control subjects (aged 32-72 years). FLAIR images were obtained 2 hours to 2 days after ictus. Findings were evaluated and compared with computed tomographic (CT) findings.
Results: In all patients, acute SAH was clearly demonstrated as an area with signal intensity that was high relative to that of the normal cerebrospinal fluid and surrounding brain parenchyma at FLAIR imaging. This sequence was especially useful in demonstration of acute SAH in the posterior fossa, which was difficult to show at CT because of beam-hardening artifacts. In a double-blind comparison, no FLAIR images acquired in control subjects were confused with those acquired in control subjects were confused with those acquired in patients.
Conclusion: FLAIR sequences reliably provide diagnostic images in patients with acute SAH.