Diffusion and Perfusion MR Imaging in Acute Stroke: Clinical Utility and Potential Limitations for Treatment Selection

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Magnetic resonance (MR) diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) offer unique insight into acute ischemic stroke pathophysiology. These techniques may offer the ability to apply pathophysiology to accurately individualize acute stroke reperfusion treatment, including extending the opportunity of reperfusion treatment to well beyond the current time-based treatment windows.

This review examines the use of DWI and PWI in the major stroke trials, their current clinical utility, and potential limitations for reperfusion treatment selection. DWI and PWI continue to be investigated in ongoing randomized controlled trials, and continued research into these techniques will help achieve the goal of tissue-based decision making and individualized acute stroke treatment.

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