Value of conventional, and diffusion- and perfusion weighted MRI in the management of patients with unclear cerebral pathology, admitted to the intensive care unit

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The aim of our retrospective study was to determine the extent to which diffusion- and perfusion- weighted MRI combined with conventional MRI could be helpful in the evaluation of intensive care unit (ICU) patients who have unknown or unclear cerebral pathology underlying a serious clinical condition. Twenty-one ICU patients with disparity between the findings on brain CT scan and their clinical status were studied. All patients underwent conventional MR and diffusion-weighted imaging and 14 also had MR perfusion studies. Abnormalities were present on diffusion-weighted imaging of 17 of the 21 patients and on perfusion-weighted studies of 7 of 14 patients. The MRI results changed the preliminary/working diagnosis in six patients. In eight other patients, MRI revealed additional pathology that had not been suspected clinically, and/or characterized more closely findings that had already been detected by CT or suspected clinically. MRI showed abnormalities in four of the five patients who had normal CT. MRI findings suggested a negative clinical outcome in all nine patients who subsequently died. MRI findings also suggested positive long-term outcome in five of nine patients who improved significantly as based on Glasgow and extended Glasgow outcome scales. In the three unconscious patients who had normal diffusion- and perfusion weighted imaging the clinical outcome was good. This study suggests that MRI in seriously ill ICU patients with unclear cerebral pathology can provide information that changes, characterizes, or supports diagnoses and/or prognoses and therefore facilitates further management.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Radiologi och bildbehandling
  • Anestesi och intensivvård
  • Neurologi
  • Kirurgi


Sidor (från-till)674-680
Utgåva nummer8
StatusPublished - 2002
Peer review utfördJa