WSU study finds younger stroke victims benefit from earlier MRIs

Detroit - While the American Stroke Association reports that stroke is the third leading cause of death and one of the top causes of disability in the United States, young adults showing signs of suffering a stroke are sometimes misdiagnosed in hospital emergency rooms, preventing them from receiving early effective treatment that can prevent serious damage.

Performing magnetic resonance imaging sooner on younger stroke patients entering emergency rooms can lower the rate of misdiagnosis and lead to faster appropriate treatment, according to a team of Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne State University Physician Group neurologists.

The Wayne State University-Detroit Medical Center Stroke Program team presented its findings Thursday during the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif.

In "Early Performance of MRI is Associated with Lower Rate of Stroke Misdiagnosis in Young Adults," the team examined the cases of 77 patients with a mean age of 37.9 years who reported to an emergency room displaying stroke symptoms. Of those cases, 14.5 percent of the patients were initially misdiagnosed.

The chances of a misdiagnosis decreased if physicians performed an MRI of the patient within 48 hours. The likelihood of a misdiagnosis increased as the age of the patients decreased.

source:Wayne State University -Dept. of Research

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