Portable MRIs could detect strokes effectively

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Scientists from Yale and Harvard found that portable MRI machines, an emerging technology that makes medical imaging accessible even in remote locations, detected ischemic strokes, or strokes caused by clotting, in 90% of patients scanned.

The research is published in the journal Science Advances and was conducted by Kevin Sheth et al.

Outcomes for stroke patients improve dramatically the quicker they receive treatment.

But access to stationary MRI machines is limited for those who live far away from major hospitals or in developing countries.

And even stroke patients who have access to major hospitals often have to wait for scans with stationary MRIs because of heavy demand for the equipment.

Portable scans can be employed at a patient’s bedside, in ambulances, or at clinics in remote areas.

In addition, quickly differentiating between different types of stroke is crucial for determining proper treatment, the researchers say. Ischemic strokes are usually treated with blood thinners.

But that course of treatment is dangerous for those who experience hemorrhagic strokes or strokes in which there is bleeding in the brain.

In the study, the team analyzed portable MRI scans from 50 patients at Yale New Haven Hospital.

They found that the results largely confirmed ischemic stroke diagnoses made by stationary MRIs. For 45 of those patients, the portable MRI detected blood clots as small as 4 millimeters in size.

The team says previous studies have shown that portable MRI devices can also detect strokes caused by bleeding in the brain, which are distinct from strokes caused by brain clots.

The ability of portable MRI machines to differentiate the two types of strokes will help clinicians make crucial life-saving treatment decisions quickly in remote areas for patients who lack ready access to major hospitals with expensive stationary MRI machines.

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If you care about stroke, please read studies about what to eat for stroke prevention, and more intensive blood pressure treatment could help prevent strokes.

For more information about stroke, please see recent studies about chocolate that may help reduce stroke risk, and results showing drinking coffee this way may prevent heart disease, stroke.

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