Fast Patient Workup in Acute Stroke Using Parallel Imaging

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Treatment of ischemic stroke is a very frustrating topic for neurologists. Presently, the most promising therapy seems to be thrombolysis of the clot. However, this intervention is associated with complication risks, most significantly the risk of post-treatment hemorrhage. This risk of bleeding increases not only with the size of the ischemic brain tissue but also with the time-to-treatment interval. Studies suggest a time window of 3 hours for most effective treatment. Hence, there is demand for a rapid imaging workup, which thus far has been accomplished with computed tomography. Because of the risks associated with thrombolytic therapy, more detailed information is desirable. The distinction between patients with viable ischemically challenged neural tissue and those with complete infarcts is of great importance, and computed tomography is insufficient for this task. This is also true for outlining the etiology of stroke, which may impact treatment. For these tasks, magnetic resonance imaging has been proposed. However, comprehensive imaging protocols take time, which is limited in stroke treatment. Therefore, new imaging techniques are required that provide both in-depth information and short scanning times. Parallel imaging is uniquely suited for this purpose.

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