Several clinical presentations require emergent neuroimaging to determine the cause of the neurological deficit and to institute appropriate therapy. Time is critical because neurons that are lost cannot be replaced. Generally, the clinical symptoms are due to ischemia and compression or destruction of neural elements. The two primary imaging modalities for the CNS are CT and MRI. CT is fast and can readily visualize fractures, hemorrhage, and foreign bodies. Otherwise, in patients who can cooperate for the longer imaging study, MRI provides better contrast resolution and has higher specificity for most CNS diseases. The five major categories of nontraumatic neuroemergencies are discussed below .
KeywordsAcute stroke Arterial dissection Cerebral venous/sinus thrombosis Subarachnoid hemorrhage Meningitis Encephalitis Epidural abscess
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