The Stanford Stroke Center has pioneered the use of brain imaging that is changing the way doctors treat stroke. Called multimodal imaging, these views of the brain capture what tissue can be saved—even though a patient might have had a stroke several hours after the three-hour window now seen as the standard end of useful intervention. Stanford has also built a protocol for a fast MRI process to speed up that imaging.
The multimodal imaging approach means that each patient’s own biological clock is visible—and that successful treatment can restore function long beyond what was once thought possible. “Multimodal goes beyond the basic CAT scan or even a basic MRI to get a lot more information,” said Neil Schwartz, MD, PhD, stroke specialist at the Stanford Stroke Center.