A stroke occurs when a part of the brain is deprived of blood supply. The brain cells need this blood supply constantly to survive. There are two types of stroke: One is due to ischemia when there is a blockage of the artery and the other is a hemorrhagic stroke in which there is bleeding into the brain.
CT is the prime diagnostic test performed in the emergency room. CT generates detailed pictures of the brain and can confirm the diagnosis of stroke and can tell whether the stroke was caused by hemorrhage into the brain or blockage of the artery.
MRI or angiography are adjunct diagnostic methods. Magnetic resonance imaging can be used to create pictures of the brain and can also be used to create pictures of a blood vessel so called MR angiogram (MRA).
Ultrasound uses a technique that is called Doppler ultrasound and creates pictures using the sound waves from the blood vessels. Ultrasound can be used to determine if there is stenosis of the blood vessels in the neck.
Most important is also how quickly the patient arrives to the emergency department. The three principle interventional radiology treatments are: