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Emerging impact of CTA/perfusion CT on acute stroke thrombolysis in a community hospital


Our objective was to retrospectively review the emerging role of CT, CTA, and perfusion CT (pCT) in the hyperacute stroke population of a community hospital. We reviewed 50 consecutive patients' records and imaging studies, who were treated with thrombolytic therapy within 6 h of symptom onset. Multidetector CT, CTA, and pCT studies were evaluated. Subsequent CT, magnetic resonance, or angiographic studies when available were correlated. Patients' clinical data at admission and outcomes at discharge were evaluated. Complications were tabulated. Of the 50 patients treated with thrombolytics, 37 had CT/CTA/pCT, the others non-contrast CT only. CT blood volume defect was present in a total of 14 patients, presaging permanent infarct in all. Arterial clot was seen in 28/37 CTAs (carotid “T” 6, MCA 16, vertebrobasilar 6). Viable penumbra was shown in 20/37; rescued penumbra was depicted after treatment in 14.

39 patients were treated with intravenous, nine with intra-arterial, two with both forms of thrombolysis. Modified Rankin score showed clinical improvement in 58%, three patients had complete recovery. Subsequent bleed was shown in two (4%), symptomatic in one (2%). Two patients died. Our experience suggests advanced CT is more sensitive to ischemia than routine CT, that salvageable penumbra can be identified, and that triage of patients with acute stroke for thrombolysis with CT/CTA/pCT is more robust than routine CT alone, and may improve outcomes in the community hospital setting.

  • Stroke
  • Thrombolysis

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