Seeing Better, Knowing More: Advanced Imaging Enables Diagnosis and Treatment


Eleanor Walker, 88, has played golf for more than three decades. It's the kind of exercise that has kept her energy at a level far beyond her years.

After prompt treatment at Stanford Hospital's nationally recognized Stroke Center, Eleanor Walker, 88, is back to her regular golfing routine, which includes driving herself from her home to the course and playing a full round, sometimes with a friend.

Roughly 75 percent of our brain is wired for vision, so images are a powerful tool.

-Gary Glazer, MD, Chair, Stanford Department of Radiology

I asked my doctor if I could play golf and she said, 'Sure you can!' Maybe I'll even play better!

-Eleanor Walker, Stanford Hospital & Clinics patient

When Eleanor Walker arrived at Stanford Hospital, physicians immediately looked at her brain with a CT scanner to find the clot and to see what damage had already been done. They also put contrast dye into her artery and recorded images of its path with X-ray in a process called angiography. Digital subtraction removes everything in the image except the artery marked with the contrast material. These images were made before her treatment.

What a clot does to blood flow is easy to see in these images, taken after interventional radiologists removed the clot and restored normal passage of blood flow to Walker's brain. The images on the left mark, with colors, how long blood is taking to get to various parts of the brain. The red areas mark where blood flow has stopped, the blue where blood flow is normal, the yellow and green where damage will soon occur.

* In addition to its imaging availibility at the Hospital, Stanford's Department of Radiology has two other centers - at the Outpatient Center in Redwood City and the Stanford Medicine Imaging facility in Palo Alto.