Rapid MRI of the molecular diffusion of water demonstrated cerebral infarcts in 32 patients. We studied these patients at various times following the onset of ischemic symptoms and found that diffusion-weighted imaging revealed the infarcts sooner than conventional T2-weighted spin-echo imaging did; four hyperacute infarcts were shown only by diffusion-weighted imaging. Acute infarcts had lower apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) than noninfarcted regions did. This relative difference in ADC reached a nadir in the first 24 hours and rose progressively thereafter. Chronic infarcts showed a relative increase in diffusion and were readily distinguishable from acute infarcts. The technique takes less than 2 minutes to apply using a standard 1.5-tesla scanner in the clinical setting. Diffusion-weighted imaging has the potential to play a role in improving the early anatomic diagnosis of stroke and therefore in the development and implementation of early stroke interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology