Using brain MR imaging to evaluate patients with acute ischemic stroke is associated with improved in-hospital outcomes, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Overall, the use of brain MRI was associated with a steady reduction in in-patient mortality (1.67% vs 3.09%). It was also linked to “significantly lower incidence” of both gastrostomy and mechanical ventilation, though there was no significant difference in intracranial hemorrhage between the two groups.

The study’s authors did note that brain MRI uses more resources, with lengths of stay increasing by 8% and total costs increasing by 11%. Considering the key benefits also identified, however, these changes were described as “marginal.”  

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