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RCP GUIDELINES ON CT BRAIN SCANS IN STROKE PATIENTS

  • Brain imaging should be undertaken to detect intracerebral or subarachnoid haemorrhage, and to exclude other causes of the stroke syndrome, in all patients within 48 hours of onset unless there are good clinical reasons for not doing so.
  • Brain imaging should be undertaken as a matter of urgency if:
  1. There is a clinical deterioration in the patient’s condition;
  2. Subarachnoid haemorrhage is suspected;
  3. Hydrocephalus secondary to intracerebral haemorrhage is suspected
  4. Trauma is suspected;
  5. The patient is on anticoagulant treatment, or has a known bleeding tendency;
  6. The diagnosis is in doubt because of other unusual features.
  • Brain imaging should always be undertaken before anticoagulant treatment is started

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Copyright ©Nikki Devitt 2002, on behalf of the WAHT Stroke Pathway Group

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Date of last review: 25th April 2002

Date of next review:25th October 2002