Stroke, whether hemorrhagic or ischemic in nature, has the ability to lead to devastating and debilitating patient outcomes, which not only has direct implications from a healthcare standpoint, but its effects are longstanding and they impact the community as a whole. For decades, the goal of advancement and refinement in imaging modalities has been to develop the most precise, convenient, widely available and reproducible interpretable modality for the detection of stroke, not only in its hyperacute phase, but a method to be able to predict its evolution through the natural course of disease. Diagnosis is one of the most important initial roles, which imaging fulfills after the identification of existent pathology. However, imaging fulfills an even more important goal by using a combination of imaging modalities and their precise interpretation, which lends itself to understanding the mechanisms and pathophysiology of underlying disease, and therefore guides therapeutic decision-making in a patient-tailored fashion. This review explores the most commonly used brain imaging modalities, computer tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, with an aim to demonstrate their dynamic use in uncovering stroke mechanism, facilitating prognostication, and potentially guiding therapy
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