Perfusion CT of the brain: diagnostic approach for early detection of ischemic stroke

Radiology. 1998 Oct;209(1):85-93. doi: 10.1148/radiology.209.1.9769817.


Purpose: To determine the value of perfusion computed tomography (CT) in a clinical study of patients with stroke and compare the results with single photon emission CT (SPECT) findings.

Materials and methods: Perfusion CT was performed within 6 hours of symptom onset in 32 patients with possible stroke. Cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and time to peak contrast material enhancement were calculated on the basis of the CT results. Cerebral SPECT was also performed in a subgroup of 18 patients. Perfusion CT and SPECT findings were compared in a lesion-by-lesion analysis. Perfusion CT results were compared with follow-up CT and magnetic resonance imaging findings.

Results: Areas of reduced CBF were detected with the aid of perfusion CT in 25 of 28 patients with a proved infarct (sensitivity, 89%). The results of the CBF maps corresponded well to SPECT findings in 13 (81%) of 16 patients, but ischemia was located outside the scanning level in the other three patients and was therefore missed. Perfusion CT revealed various changes in CBF, CBV, and time to peak enhancement in ischemic territories.

Conclusion: Perfusion CT not only allows early detection of cerebral ischemia but also yields valuable information about the extent of perfusion disturbances.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Contrast Media
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • technetium Tc 99m bicisate
  • Cysteine