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Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages of magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and ultrasonography in the diagnosis of stroke

From: Role of imaging in early diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke: a literature review

Modality Acquisition time Accuracy Safety Availability
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) It takes 30–90 min to complete the scan DWI is highly sensitive in showing the abnormalities and lesions Patients with heart pacemaker or a metallic foreign body cannot be scanned through MRI Less available
Computed Tomography (CT) Requires less than 10 min Non-contrast CT is less accurate for detection of acute stroke, but CTA is highly sensitive for LVO Ionizing radiation and contrast agents make CT primarily unavailable for patients with a history of allergic reaction, renal failure, and pregnant women Common, cost-efficient
Ultrasonography (US) Usually takes 15–30 min to complete It is usually the choice modality for screening the carotid stenosis, but the accuracy is highly dependent on the sonographer’s ability It is non-invasive and has no radiation Widely available in almost every clinical setting, cost-efficient
  1. CTA Computed tomography angiography, DWI Diffusion-weighted imaging, LVO large vessel occlusion