Standard CT matches CT perfusion for stroke imaging

Using noncontrast-enhanced CT to assess stroke patients led to the same clinical outcome as imaging with CT perfusion, according to a presentation at the recent 2018 European Stroke Organization Conference (ESOC) in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston conducted a trial comparing the effects of standard CT versus CT perfusion in 445 patients who presented with signs of a stroke at one of nine academic health centers in the U.S. from January 2016 to February 2018.

The stroke patients who underwent noncontrast CT had nearly identical clinical outcomes as those who underwent CT perfusion, they found. However, acquiring both standard CT and CT perfusion scans convinced clinicians to provide surgical thrombectomy for 17.6% of the cases, meaning that these patients would not have received appropriate treatment had they undergone one of the two imaging exams alone.

"The results show that simple [CT scanning], while not perfect, may be good enough," presenter Dr. Amrou Sarraj told conference attendees. "The advanced imaging of CT perfusion isn't available everywhere, so this could open up the door to identify more people for potential treatment, especially in remote areas."

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