Brain imaging is essential for the diagnosis of acute stroke and vascular aphasia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the modality of choice for the etiological diagnosis of aphasia, the assessment of its severity, and the prediction of recovery. Diffusion weighted imaging is used to detect, localize, and quantify the extension of the irreversibly injured brain tissue called ischemic core. Perfusion weighted imaging (from MRI or CT) is useful to assess the extension of hypoperfused but salvageable tissue called penumbra. Functional imaging (positron emission tomography (PET), functional MRI (fMRI)) may help predicting recovery and is useful for the understanding of language networks and individual variability. This chapter is meant to review the state of the art of morphological and functional imaging of vascular aphasia and to illustrate the MRI profiles of different aphasic syndromes.
Part of the book: Aphasia Compendium