One of the main reasons for the soaring interest in acute ischemic stroke among radiologists is the advent of new magnetic resonance techniques such as diffusion-weighted imaging. This new modality has prompted us to seek a better understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of cerebral ischemia/infarction. The ischemic penumbra is an important concept and tissue region because this is the target of various recanalization treatments during the acute phase of stroke. In this context, it is high time for a thorough review of the concept, especially from the imaging point of view.
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