Quick stroke protocol (MRI)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

MRI protocol for a quick stroke assessment corresponds to a short protocol, usually just the DWI/ADC, adopted by some institutions as a complementary tool to the CT imaging in stroke code patients. The aim is to provide additional information to support stroke diagnosis within the narrow time window for thrombolytic therapy.

Please, refer to the article on MRI protocol: stroke for a discussion on a broad protocol for brain ischemia.  

Note: This article is intended to outline some general principles of protocol design. The specifics will vary depending on MRI hardware and software, radiologist's and referrer's preference, institutional protocols, patient factors (e.g. allergy) and time constraints. 


  • diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)
    • plane: axial
    • sequence: DWI: B=0, B=1000 and ADC 
    • purpose:  early identification of ischemic stroke: diffusion restriction may be seen within minutes following the onset of ischemia 1

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Cases and figures

  • DWI b=1000 (negative)
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  • GRE EPI T2* (negative)
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  • T2 SSFSE
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