ICTUS Care: The Revolutionary Role of Artificial Intelligence in The 3 Stages of Detection


An image of a person with ictus

A stroke is the medical name for a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). In everyday language, this condition is known as a stroke (ICTUS). 

Early detection and prompt treatment are indispensable factors in reducing the damage to the brain caused by a lack of blood supply. Every minute counts here.

¿What is a stroke (ICTUS) and what are the symptoms?

This condition occurs when the blood supply is suddenly interrupted due to a thrombus or clot, or when a blood vessel ruptures, causing a hemorrhage and filling the spaces with the brain cells.

As the cells become flooded, they stop receiving vital oxygen and nutrients, triggering several alarming symptoms.

Based on the above, a stroke (ICTUS) can be classified into two types:

  1. Ischemic: when there is a blockage of blood flow due to a thrombus.
  2. Hemorrhagic: when there is bleeding inside and around the brain.

Some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said
  • Impaired vision in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe and sudden headache with no known cause

¿What are the methods for diagnosing a stroke (ICTUS)?

Like any medical emergency, multiple tests are required to determine whether any ICTUS has occurred, what type of stroke has occurred, and to identify the possible cause. With the information obtained, a treatment plan can be developed.

The following are the measures taken to arrive at a diagnosis:

Physical and neurological examination: The patient or a family member is asked about the symptoms. Blood pressure is taken, the state of alertness is checked, and numbness or weakness of the limbs, as well as the ability to speak, see, or walk, are verified. Questionnaires are available to evaluate each affected aspect in detail.

Each question has a score and the final result will allow obtaining a pre-diagnosis of the patient's condition

Radiological images: At the hospital, some tests are performed to see how much damage there is and where the event occurred.

Firstly, a computed tomography (CT) scan facilitates obtaining images of bleeding in the brain, the affected area, and even finding other problems that cause alarm symptoms.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will show the brain changes as a result of the accident. It also facilitates ruling out the presence of possible tumors that cause similar symptoms.

A computed tomography angiography or magnetic resonance angiography presents an image of the blood vessels and blood flow. A contrast medium is used to highlight the veins.

A carotid ultrasound, whose results show if there is a presence of plaque that is blocking blood flow to the brain.

Other recommended studies are Transcranial Doppler ultrasound, Electroencephalogram, Electrocardiogram.

According to the above, there are several studies that a patient must undergo to try to determine their condition. Unfortunately, the impact on the brain is a race against time.

In this situation, for every minute that passes, a considerable number of neurons are lost, and several faculties are affected.

On average, the ideal time to receive medical attention and recover the affected tissue is 4 to 6 hours. If the patient receives treatment in less time than mentioned, the chances of not suffering adverse effects are quite high.

Therefore, the use of diagnostic tools based on Artificial Intelligence constitutes a victory in patient care.

Some of the advantages of having an automated diagnostic system are:

Speed. By taking images from PACS, the software can diagnose in 30 seconds.

Accuracy. It can locate tiny blood clots that are not easily visible to the human eye.

Results mapping. By using a heat map through the evaluation of the ASPECTS scale, it is possible to locate affected areas that will appear in different colors. If it is a light red tone, it is an old injury. If it is a bright red tone, it is the presence of an acute infarction.

It offers the ability to evaluate the volume of the infarction, detect and measure obstruction of large vessels and bleeding, and perform automatic calculations of score, penumbra, and mismatch ratio.

The detection of obstruction can be carried out in simple tomographies. That means it is no longer necessary to administer contrast to perform the study, which saves time by not having to take more required images. It may not even be necessary to transfer the patient to other centers of care.

As cases are added, the software concentrates information to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis.

There is a system for sending alerts via email and text messages to send key images from the results map.

Mobile applications facilitate quick and remote access to key results generated by the virtual assistant, promoting timely patient care and positively impacting their health.


An image of a brain without ICTUS

¿What is the treatment once a stroke (ICTUS) is identified?

The treatment for this type of condition is divided into three stages:

  • Prevention
  • Immediate therapy after the ICTUS
  • Post-stroke rehabilitation

In the case of prevention, treatment consists of monitoring and controlling underlying factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation.

With immediate therapy, the goal is to stop the ICTUS as it is happening. In the case of an ischemic stroke, different medications are administered with the aim of dissolving or removing the blood clot. In the case of a hemorrhagic event, the goal is to stop the bleeding, which is a risky procedure.

Although the ICTUS occurs in the brain, the consequences are felt throughout the body. Post-stroke rehabilitation aims to help the patient overcome disabilities or disorders resulting from brain damage. As for medication, the patient should take antithrombotics (antiplatelet and anticoagulant agents) to dissolve future blood clots.

If you want to learn more details about Brainomix and all the diagnostic tools, you can request a demo call at the link provided.

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