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Stroke

CT scan or MRI

02/22/2008

Question:

My father-in-law fell back in Ocotber and had a subdurmal hematoma on both sides of his head. They did brain surgery on him in December to drain the build up of fluid. Since then they have performed multiple CT Scans to make sure the fluid has drained on the left side. He has had about 13 CT Scans. In January he had 2 TIA`s one where he lost his sight for about 5 minutes. The other in the hospital. Another CT Scan was done w/possible small evidence of a bleed. He just had another TIA w/loss of sight that lasted much longer. The CT Scan did not show anything. I am wondering if an MRI would should more information than the continual CT Scans. There is no answer at this point why the TIA`s are occurring. He is on cholesterol meds & blood pressure meds does not smoke.

Answer:

I cannot answer your question--it is best put to his local physicians who know his entire medical history and can do a thorough physical exam. It should be noted that some patients cannot safely have an MRI scan (such as implanted pacemaker, etc).

However, I can give you some general information. MRI's can provide more information than a CT, as they are much higher resolution. An MRI scan also provides multiple different types of pictures that can highlight different characteristics of the brain.

Your doctors may have specific reasons why an MRI is not appropriate. If you are wondering about this, you could ask them.

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati