Cheap, Quick Bedside 'Eye Movement' Exam Outperforms MRI For Diagnosing Stroke In Patients

ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2009) — In a small “proof of principle” study, stroke researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Illinois have found that a simple, one-minute eye movement exam performed at the bedside worked better than an MRI to distinguish new strokes from other less serious disorders in patients complaining of dizziness, nausea and spinning sensations.

Results of the study of 101 patients , who were already at higher than normal risk of stroke because of factors including high blood pressure or high cholesterol, were published online ahead of print on Sept. 17 in Stroke. The patients were all seen at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill.

The project, spearheaded by a Johns Hopkins neurologist in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Illinois in Peoria, found that the quick, extremely low-cost exam caught more strokes than the current gold standard of MRI, suggesting that if further research on broader populations confirms these results, physicians may have a way to improve care and avoid the high costs of MRI in some cases.

source: Science Daily Release

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