Intracerebral hemorrhage diagnosis
Although CT remains important in the acute setting, MR imaging has proved invaluable for diagnosis and characterization of intracranial hemorrhage.
Non-contrast head CT, given its availability and high sensitivity in detecting blood products, is frequently the first tool to readily detect ICH; however, different types of hemorrhages may share a common appearance on CT and the optimal therapeutic approach varies depending on etiology. An additional diagnostic work-up is frequently indicated to make the final diagnosis and to assist in urgent patient management. CT- and MR angiography, and digital angiography can diagnose vascular anomalies, CT venography can reveal cerebral vein thrombosis, diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) may show hemorrhagic transformation of an infarct, and susceptibility-weighted MRI (SWI) may detect hypertensive and amyloid angiopathy-related microbleeds. MR also has a major role in revealing underlying etiologies such as cavernoma, primary brain tumor or metastases. These imaging tools assist in determining the cause of ICH, and also in assessing the risk of deterioration. Prognostic factors such as size, location, mass effect, and detection of the “spot sign” all play an important role in foreseeing possible deterioration, thus allowing prompt intervention 1).
Intracerebral hemorrhage volume is a powerful predictor of 30-day mortality after spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Kothari et al., compared a bedside method of measuring CT ICH volume with measurements made by computer-assisted planimetric image analysis 2).
DW-MRI at b1000 has a diagnostic yield similar to noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) for detecting ICH and superior to NCCT for detecting ischemic stroke (IS). Therefore, DW-MRI may be considered as the initial screening tool for imaging patients presenting with focal neurologic symptoms suggestive of stroke 3).
Results indicated that circulating miR-181b, miR-223, miR-155 and miR-145 in plasma samples could be served as a potential noninvasive tool in ICH detection 4).