Rapid Short MRI Sequence Useful in Eliminating Stroke Mimics Among Acute Stroke Patients Considered for Intravenous Thrombolysis
|Stephanie Paolini, Joselyn Burdine, Michael Verenes, James Webster, Theodore Faber, Cole Blease Graham and Souvik Sen*|
|Department of Neurology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA|
|Corresponding Author :||Souvik Sen
Professor and Chair
Department of Neurology
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
8 Medical Park, Suite 420 Columbia
South Carolina 29203, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received September 20, 2013; Accepted October 21, 2013; Published October 24, 2013|
|Citation: Paolini S, Burdine J, Verenes M, Webster J, Faber T, et al. (2013) Rapid Short MRI Sequence Useful in Eliminating Stroke Mimics Among Acute Stroke Patients Considered for Intravenous Thrombolysis. J Neurol Disord 1:137. doi: 10.4172/2329-6895.1000137|
|Copyright: © 2013 Paolini S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
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Background: Acute stroke teams are challenged by IV-tPA decision making in patients with acute neurological symptoms when the diagnosis is unclear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of the rapid Brain Attack Team (BAT) MRI in selecting patients for IV-tPA administration who present acutely to the emergency room with strokelike symptoms and an unclear diagnosis.
Methods: Consecutive patients were identified who presented within 4.5 hours of onset of stroke-like symptoms and considered for treatment with IV-tPA. When the diagnosis was not clear, a 9-minute BAT MRI was obtained. Stroke risk factors and NIH stroke scale obtained on presentation were compared between patients in whom BAT MRI was obtained and those in whom BAT MRI was not obtained. Similarly, comparisons were made between patients in whom BAT MRI detected abnormalities and those in whom BAT MRI did not detect abnormalities. BAT MRIs were analyzed to determine if radiological findings impacted clinical management and discharge diagnosis.
Results: In a 30-month period, 432 patients presenting with acute stroke-like symptoms were identified. Of these patients, 82 received BAT MRI. Patients receiving BAT MRI were younger, more likely to be smokers, and less likely to be selected for IV-tPA administration compared to those in whom a more definitive diagnosis of stroke precluded a BAT MRI. Of the 82 BAT MRIs, 25 were read as positive for acute ischemia. The patients with acute ischemia on BAT MRI were older, more likely to be males, have a history of hypercholesterolemia and atrial fibrillation, and more likely to be selected for IV-tPA administration compared to those with a negative BAT MRI. Of the 57 BAT MRIs read as negative for acute ischemia or hemorrhage, discharge diagnoses included TIA, MRI negative stroke, conversion/functional disorder, and multiple other illnesses.
Conclusion: In patients with acute stroke-like symptoms, BAT MRI may be used to confirm acute ischemic stroke, exclude stroke mimics, and assess candidacy for IV-tPA.