Imaging of acute stroke – CT first?

Author(s): Dr Grant Mair

Hospital: The University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian

Reference: RAD Magazine, 49, 576, 15-16


Stroke is a medical emergency, affecting more than 100,000 people per year across the UK. A sudden disruption of the blood supply to the brain (most commonly from blockage in an artery – ischaemic stroke, but sometimes due to bleeding into the brain – haemorrhagic stroke) abruptly causes a profound neurological disorder. To better recognise stroke in the community and improve the chance of successful treatment, the public are encouraged to act ‘FAST’. The Face, Arms, Speech, Time test highlights common stroke symptoms and is effectively used by paramedics to direct patients with presumed stroke to the most appropriate hospital, ideally a comprehensive stroke centre, and to enable a pre-alert to receiving staff of their imminent arrival.

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