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, compression, or destruction of neural elements. The two primary imaging modalities for the central nervous system (CNS) are computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (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. This paper discusses the five major categories of nontraumatic neuroemergencies.
KeywordsSubarachnoid Hemorrhage Obstructive Hydrocephalus Epidural Abscess Homonymous Hemianopsia Acute Meningitis
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