Scientific article
Open access

The role of advanced neuroimaging techniques in ischemic stroke prevention

Published inClinical and Translational Neuroscience, vol. 3, no. 2
Publication date2019

In great part due to recent advances in medical technology, ischemic cerebral stroke has become an increasingly treatable condition, which requires urgent measures and which rely on pharmacological and/or interventional measures. Due to its high prevalence, preventive measures should also be undertaken, and this is a situation where the use of advanced neuroimaging techniques could be helpful in certain underlying diseases. What is proposed here is to discuss how modern neuroimaging techniques (advanced magnetic resonance (MR) techniques and/or nuclear medicine techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET)) could help in situations that would otherwise lead to a stroke. Since both primary and secondary prevention measures are often required, we see that the techniques can be helpful in both situations. The diseases that cause stroke that can be investigated are, among others, carotid stenosis; transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) may also be followed by a major stroke if nothing is undertaken. It has been established that carotid stenosis is to be treated in the presence of a significant lesion that has neurological symptoms. The question of how to deal with these patients often arises when the relationship between the stenosis and symptoms is not significant or the symptomatology unclear. In such situations, either PET and/or fat-saturated T1 images of the carotids can help to demonstrate the embolic nature of the plaque. We have seen that carotid plaque vulnerability, which can cause embolism, can be associated with plaque inflammation (seen on PET) or plaque haemorrhage (seen on MR images). Also, while PET and MRI will demonstrate different stages of plaque vulnerability, they can both help to demonstrate vascular lesions that are at risk of causing significant ischemic events. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has shown that some TIAs may indeed be ischemic brain lesions with a transient symptomatology. The early use of DWI can thus help treat these patients more acutely. Based on this, we have seen that newer imaging techniques can provide additional knowledge about conditions that may lead to stroke and be treated. This should have a major impact on patient outcomes and ultimately on healthcare costs related to this condition.

  • Stroke
  • Neuroimaging
  • MRI
  • PET-CT
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 160222
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - 124114
Citation (ISO format)
LÖVBLAD, Karl-Olof et al. The role of advanced neuroimaging techniques in ischemic stroke prevention. In: Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, 2019, vol. 3, n° 2. doi: 10.1177/2514183X19881446
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2514-183X

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