Role of noncontrast head CT in the assessment of vascular abnormalities in the emergency room
Department of Radiology
Emergency Medicine | Radiology
Noncontrast CT of the head is a widely used noninvasive investigation for a variety of acute and chronic neurological conditions. Since CT head without contrast is usually the first and often the only investigation in the emergency room for many neurological symptoms, it is imperative to detect subtle vascular changes, which in many patients can be life-saving. The vascular abnormalities may present with increased density and/or size of the vessels, filling defects, and be associated with parenchymal and bony changes. In this article, we present examples of several vascular pathologies which can be identified on the noncontrast CT of the head, and learn imaging and interpretation techniques to help recognize what often are nebulous changes. While some of the findings are diagnostic by themselves and others subtle, any suspicious abnormality should be followed with dedicated vascular imaging such as CT/MR angiogram, venogram, or catheter angiogram for confirmation and better characterization.
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Citation: Takhtani D, Dundamadappa S, Almast J. Role of noncontrast head CT in the assessment of vascular abnormalities in the emergency room. Emerg Radiol. 2013 Dec;20(6):529-41. doi: 10.1007/s10140-013-1136-6. Link to article on publisher's site
Takhtani, Deepak; Dundamadappa, Sathish Kumar; and Almast, Jeevak, "Role of noncontrast head CT in the assessment of vascular abnormalities in the emergency room" (2013). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. 371.