The Stroke Center - Equipped with the Latest in Imaging Technology
The National Institutes of Health purchased a 3.0 Tesla MRI for the NIH Stroke Program at the Washington Hospital Center Stroke Center. The new scanner, which was installed in March 2005, is one of the most powerful imaging technologies available today.
The benefits of the 3.0T scanner over the more common 1.5T scanner are clearer, more detailed images without an increase in the time it takes to perform the diagnostic test. In addition, the 3.0T scanner can produce 1.5T quality images in half the time, a valuable feature in the care of stroke patients where every second counts.
Although several hospitals have a 3.0T MRI, the NIH scanner at the Washington Hospital Center Stroke Center is the only such scanner dedicated to acute stroke and cardiac care in the metropolitan D.C. area. It is conveniently located by the Emergency Medicine Department, to minimize delays in getting patients scanned. The MRI is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Most hospitals use CT scans for evaluation of both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke; however, MRI is significantly more sensitive to ischemia, especially in the early stages. MRI allows physicians to precisely locate the lesion, determine whether the stroke is complete or evolving, and evaluate whether there is decreased blood flow to the brain.
"MRI provides us with a much more accurate, sensitive imaging method that gives us more information early on about what is happening in the brain during the stroke. We are able to use this valuable information to better guide our treatment decisions to aim for the best outcomes for our patients,” says Dr. Amie Hsia, medical director of the Stroke Center.
Where to go from here?Previous Topic: Stroke Support Group at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
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