Publications

    Kulpanowski AM, Copen WA, Hancock B, Rosenthal ES, Schoenfeld DA, Dodelson JA, Edlow BL, Kimberly WT, Amorim E, Westover MG, Ning M, Schaefer PW, Malhotra R, Giacino JT, Greer DM, Wu O. Severe Cerebral Edema in Substance-Related Cardiac Arrest Patients [Internet]. Resuscitation 2022; Publisher's VersionAbstract
    BACKGROUND: Studies of neurologic outcomes have found conflicting results regarding differences between patients with substance-related cardiac arrests (SRCA) and non-SRCA. We investigate the effects of SRCA on severe cerebral edema development, a neuroimaging intermediate endpoint for neurologic injury. METHODS: 327 out-of-hospital comatose cardiac arrest patients were retrospectively analyzed. Demographics and baseline clinical characteristics were examined. SRCA categorization was based on admission toxicology screens. Severe cerebral edema classification was based on radiology reports. Poor clinical outcomes were defined as discharge Cerebral Performance Category scores>3. RESULTS: SRCA patients (N=86) were younger (P<0.001), and more likely to have non-shockable rhythms (P<0.001), be unwitnessed (P<0.001), lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores (P<0.001), absent brainstem reflexes (P<0.05) and develop severe cerebral edema (P<0.001) than non-SRCA patients (N=241). Multivariable analyses found younger age (P<0.001), female sex (P=0.008), non-shockable rhythm (P=0.01) and SRCA (P=0.05) to be predictors of severe cerebral edema development. Older age (P<0.001), non-shockable rhythm (P=0.02), severe cerebral edema (P<0.001), and absent pupillary light reflexes (P=0.004) were predictors of poor outcomes. SRCA patients had higher proportion of brain death (P<0.001) compared to non-SRCA deaths. CONCLUSIONS: SRCA results in higher rates of severe cerebral edema development and brain death. The absence of statistically significant differences in discharge outcomes or survival between SRCA and non-SRCA patients may be related to the higher rate of withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment (WLST) in the non-SRCA group. Future neuroprognostic studies may opt to include neuroimaging markers as intermediate measures of neurologic injury which are not influenced by WLST decisions.
    Zheng W-L, Amorim E, Jing J, Wu O, Ghassemi M, Lee JW, Sivaraju A, Pang T, Herman ST, Gaspard N, Ruijter BJ, Tjepkema-Cloostermans MC, Hofmeijer J, Putten MV, Westover B. Predicting Neurological Outcome from Electroencephalogram Dynamics in Comatose Patients after Cardiac Arrest with Deep Learning. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2021;PPAbstract
    OBJECTIVE: Most cardiac arrest patients who are successfully resuscitated are initially comatose due to hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Quantitative electroencephalography (EEG) provides valuable prognostic information. However, prior approaches largely rely on snapshots of the EEG, without taking advantage of temporal information. METHODS: We present a recurrent deep neural network with the goal of capturing temporal dynamics from longitudinal EEG data to predict long-term neurological outcomes. We utilized a large international dataset of continuous EEG recordings from 1,038 cardiac arrest patients from seven hospitals in Europe and the US. Poor outcome was defined as a Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score of 3-5, and good outcome as CPC score 0-2 at 3 to 6-months after cardiac arrest. Model performance is evaluated using 5-fold cross validation. RESULTS: The proposed approach provides predictions which improve over time, beginning from an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC) of 0.78 (95% CI: 0.72-0.81) at 12 hours, and reaching 0.88 (95% CI: 0.85-0.91) by 66 h after cardiac arrest. At 66 h, (sensitivity, specificity) points of interest on the ROC curve for predicting poor outcomes were (32,99)%, (55,95)%, and (62,90)%, (99,23)%, (95,47)%, and (90,62)%; whereas for predicting good outcome, the corresponding operating points were (17,99)%, (47,95)%, (62,90)%, (99,19)%, (95,48)%, (70,90)%. Moreover, the model provides predicted probabilities that closely match the observed frequencies of good and poor outcomes (calibration error 0.04). CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that accounting for EEG trend information can substantially improve prediction of neurologic outcomes for patients with coma following cardiac arrest.
    Zheng W-L, Amorim E, Jing J, Ge W, Hong S, Wu O, Ghassemi M, Lee JW, Sivaraju A, Pang T, Herman ST, Gaspard N, Ruijter BJ, Sun J, Tjepkema-Cloostermans MC, Hofmeijer J, van Putten MJAM, Westover BM. Predicting neurological outcome in comatose patients after cardiac arrest with multiscale deep neural networks. Resuscitation 2021;169:86-94.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: Electroencephalography (EEG) is an important tool for neurological outcome prediction after cardiac arrest. However, the complexity of continuous EEG data limits timely and accurate interpretation by clinicians. We develop a deep neural network (DNN) model to leverage complex EEG trends for early and accurate assessment of cardiac arrest coma recovery likelihood. METHODS: We developed a multiscale DNN combining convolutional neural networks (CNN) and recurrent neural networks (long short-term memory [LSTM]) using EEG and demographic information (age, gender, shockable rhythm) from a multicenter cohort of 1,038 cardiac arrest patients. The CNN learns EEG feature representations while the multiscale LSTM captures short-term and long-term EEG dynamics on multiple time scales. Poor outcome is defined as a Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score of 3-5 and good outcome as CPC score 1-2 at 3-6 months after cardiac arrest. Performance is evaluated using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and calibration error. RESULTS: Model performance increased with EEG duration, with AUC increasing from 0.83 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.79-0.87 at 12h to 0.91 (95%CI 0.88-0.93) at 66h. Sensitivity of good and poor outcome prediction was 77% and 75% at a specificity of 90%, respectively. Sensitivity of poor outcome was 50% at a specificity of 99%. Predicted probability was well matched to the observation frequency of poor outcomes, with a calibration error of 0.11 [0.09-0.14]. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that incorporating EEG evolution over time improves the accuracy of neurologic outcome prediction for patients with coma after cardiac arrest.
    Simpkins AN, Tahsili-Fahadan P, Buchwald N, De Prey J, Farooqui A, Mugge LA, Ranasinghe T, Senetar AJ, Echevarria FD, Alvi MM, Wu O. Adapting Clinical Practice of Thrombolysis for Acute Ischemic Stroke Beyond 4.5 Hours: A Review of the Literature. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021;30(11):106059.Abstract
    Several clinical trials have demonstrated that advanced neuroimaging can select patients for recanalization therapy in an extended time window. The favorable functional outcomes and safety profile of these studies have led to the incorporation of neuroimaging in endovascular treatment guidelines, and most recently, also extended to decision making on thrombolysis. Two randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that patients who are not amenable to endovascular thrombectomy within 4.5 hours from symptoms discovery or beyond 4.5 hours from the last-known-well time may also be safely treated with intravenous thrombolysis and have a clinical benefit above the risk of safety concerns. With the growing aging population, increased stroke incidence in the young, and the impact of evolving medical practice, healthcare and stroke systems of care need to adapt continuously to provide evidence-based care efficiently. Therefore, understanding and incorporating appropriate screening strategies is critical for the prompt recognition of potentially eligible patients for extended-window intravenous thrombolysis. Here we review the clinical trial evidence for thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke in the extended time window and provide a review of new enrolling clinical trials that include thrombolysis intervention beyond the 4.5 hour window.
    Hong S, Giese A-K, Schirmer MD, Bonkhoff AK, Bretzner M, Rist P, Dalca AV, Regenhardt RW, Etherton MR, Donahue KL, Nardin M, Mocking SJT, McIntosh EC, Attia J, Benavente OR, Cole JW, Donatti A, Griessenauer CJ, Heitsch L, Holmegaard L, Jood K, Jimenez-Conde J, Roquer J, Kittner SJ, Lemmens R, Levi CR, McDonough CW, Meschia JF, Phuah C-L, Rolfs A, Ropele S, Rosand J, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Enzinger C, Sharma P, Slowik A, Sousa A, Stanne TM, Strbian D, Tatlisumak T, Thijs V, Vagal A, Wasselius J, Woo D, Zand R, McArdle PF, Worrall BB, Wu O, Jern C, Lindgren AG, Maguire J, Tomppo L, Golland P, Rost NS. Excessive White Matter Hyperintensity Increases Susceptibility to Poor Functional Outcomes After Acute Ischemic Stroke. Front Neurol 2021;12:700616.Abstract
    Objective: To personalize the prognostication of post-stroke outcome using MRI-detected cerebrovascular pathology, we sought to investigate the association between the excessive white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden unaccounted for by the traditional stroke risk profile of individual patients and their long-term functional outcomes after a stroke. Methods: We included 890 patients who survived after an acute ischemic stroke from the MRI-Genetics Interface Exploration (MRI-GENIE) study, for whom data on vascular risk factors (VRFs), including age, sex, atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary artery disease, smoking, prior stroke history, as well as acute stroke severity, 3- to-6-month modified Rankin Scale score (mRS), WMH, and brain volumes, were available. We defined the unaccounted WMH (uWMH) burden via modeling of expected WMH burden based on the VRF profile of each individual patient. The association of uWMH and mRS score was analyzed by linear regression analysis. The odds ratios of patients who achieved full functional independence (mRS < 2) in between trichotomized uWMH burden groups were calculated by pair-wise comparisons. Results: The expected WMH volume was estimated with respect to known VRFs. The uWMH burden was associated with a long-term functional outcome (β = 0.104, p < 0.01). Excessive uWMH burden significantly reduced the odds of achieving full functional independence after a stroke compared to the low and average uWMH burden [OR = 0.4, 95% CI: (0.25, 0.63), p < 0.01 and OR = 0.61, 95% CI: (0.42, 0.87), p < 0.01, respectively]. Conclusion: The excessive amount of uWMH burden unaccounted for by the traditional VRF profile was associated with worse post-stroke functional outcomes. Further studies are needed to evaluate a lifetime brain injury reflected in WMH unrelated to the VRF profile of a patient as an important factor for stroke recovery and a plausible indicator of brain health.
    Etherton MR, Schirmer MD, Zotin MCZ, Rist PM, Boulouis G, Lauer A, Wu O, Rost NS. Global white matter structural integrity mediates the effect of age on ischemic stroke outcomes. Int J Stroke 2021;:17474930211055906.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: The relationship of global white matter microstructural integrity and ischemic stroke outcomes is not well understood. AIMS: To investigate the relationship of global white matter microstructural integrity with clinical variables and functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of neuroimaging data from 300 acute ischemic stroke patients with magnetic resonance imaging brain obtained within 48 hours of stroke onset and long-term functional outcomes (modified Rankin, mRS) was performed. Peak width of skeletonized mean diffusivity (PSMD), as a measure of global white matter microstructural injury, was calculated in the hemisphere contralateral to the acute infarct. Multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify variables associated with PSMD and excellent functional outcome (mRS < 2) at 90 days, respectively. Mediation analysis was then pursued to characterize how PSMD mediates the effect of age on acute ischemic stroke functional outcomes. RESULTS: White matter hyperintensity volume, age, pre-stroke disability, and normal-appearing white matter mean diffusivity were independently associated with increased PSMD. In logistic regression analysis, increased infarct volume and PSMD were independent predictors of excellent functional outcome. Additionally, the effect of age on functional outcomes was indirectly mediated by PSMD (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: As a marker of global white matter microstructural injury, increased PSMD mediates the effect of increased age to contribute to poor acute ischemic stroke functional outcomes. PSMD could serve as a putative radiographic marker of brain age for stroke outcomes prognostication.
    Bonkhoff AK, Schirmer MD, Bretzner M, Hong S, Regenhardt RW, Brudfors M, Donahue KL, Nardin MJ, Dalca AV, Giese A-K, Etherton MR, Hancock BL, Mocking SJT, McIntosh EC, Attia J, Benavente OR, Bevan S, Cole JW, Donatti A, Griessenauer CJ, Heitsch L, Holmegaard L, Jood K, Jimenez-Conde J, Kittner SJ, Lemmens R, Levi CR, McDonough CW, Meschia JF, Phuah C-L, Rolfs A, Ropele S, Rosand J, Roquer J, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Söderholm M, Sousa A, Stanne TM, Strbian D, Tatlisumak T, Thijs V, Vagal A, Wasselius J, Woo D, Zand R, McArdle PF, Worrall BB, Jern C, Lindgren AG, Maguire J, Bzdok D, Wu O, Rost NS. Outcome after acute ischemic stroke is linked to sex-specific lesion patterns. Nat Commun 2021;12(1):3289.Abstract
    Acute ischemic stroke affects men and women differently. In particular, women are often reported to experience higher acute stroke severity than men. We derived a low-dimensional representation of anatomical stroke lesions and designed a Bayesian hierarchical modeling framework tailored to estimate possible sex differences in lesion patterns linked to acute stroke severity (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale). This framework was developed in 555 patients (38% female). Findings were validated in an independent cohort (n = 503, 41% female). Here, we show brain lesions in regions subserving motor and language functions help explain stroke severity in both men and women, however more widespread lesion patterns are relevant in female patients. Higher stroke severity in women, but not men, is associated with left hemisphere lesions in the vicinity of the posterior circulation. Our results suggest there are sex-specific functional cerebral asymmetries that may be important for future investigations of sex-stratified approaches to management of acute ischemic stroke.
    Bonkhoff AK, Schirmer MD, Bretzner M, Etherton M, Donahue K, Tuozzo C, Nardin M, Giese A-K, Wu O, Calhoun VD, Grefkes C, Rost NS. Abnormal dynamic functional connectivity is linked to recovery after acute ischemic stroke. Hum Brain Mapp 2021;42(7):2278-2291.Abstract
    The aim of the current study was to explore the whole-brain dynamic functional connectivity patterns in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients and their relation to short and long-term stroke severity. We investigated resting-state functional MRI-based dynamic functional connectivity of 41 AIS patients two to five days after symptom onset. Re-occurring dynamic connectivity configurations were obtained using a sliding window approach and k-means clustering. We evaluated differences in dynamic patterns between three NIHSS-stroke severity defined groups (mildly, moderately, and severely affected patients). Furthermore, we built Bayesian hierarchical models to evaluate the predictive capacity of dynamic connectivity and examine the interrelation with clinical measures, such as white matter hyperintensity lesions. Finally, we established correlation analyses between dynamic connectivity and AIS severity as well as 90-day neurological recovery (ΔNIHSS). We identified three distinct dynamic connectivity configurations acutely post-stroke. More severely affected patients spent significantly more time in a configuration that was characterized by particularly strong connectivity and isolated processing of functional brain domains (three-level ANOVA: p < .05, post hoc t tests: p < .05, FDR-corrected). Configuration-specific time estimates possessed predictive capacity of stroke severity in addition to the one of clinical measures. Recovery, as indexed by the realized change of the NIHSS over time, was significantly linked to the dynamic connectivity between bilateral intraparietal lobule and left angular gyrus (Pearson's r = -.68, p = .003, FDR-corrected). Our findings demonstrate transiently increased isolated information processing in multiple functional domains in case of severe AIS. Dynamic connectivity involving default mode network components significantly correlated with recovery in the first 3 months poststroke.
    Bretzner M, Bonkhoff AK, Schirmer MD, Hong S, Dalca AV, Donahue KL, Giese A-K, Etherton MR, Rist PM, Nardin M, Marinescu R, Wang C, Regenhardt RW, Leclerc X, Lopes R, Benavente OR, Cole JW, Donatti A, Griessenauer CJ, Heitsch L, Holmegaard L, Jood K, Jimenez-Conde J, Kittner SJ, Lemmens R, Levi CR, McArdle PF, McDonough CW, Meschia JF, Phuah C-L, Rolfs A, Ropele S, Rosand J, Roquer J, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Sousa A, Stanne TM, Strbian D, Tatlisumak T, Thijs V, Vagal A, Wasselius J, Woo D, Wu O, Zand R, Worrall BB, Maguire JM, Lindgren A, Jern C, Golland P, Kuchcinski G, Rost NS. MRI Radiomic Signature of White Matter Hyperintensities Is Associated With Clinical Phenotypes. Front Neurosci 2021;15:691244.Abstract
    Objective: Neuroimaging measurements of brain structural integrity are thought to be surrogates for brain health, but precise assessments require dedicated advanced image acquisitions. By means of quantitatively describing conventional images, radiomic analyses hold potential for evaluating brain health. We sought to: (1) evaluate radiomics to assess brain structural integrity by predicting white matter hyperintensities burdens (WMH) and (2) uncover associations between predictive radiomic features and clinical phenotypes. Methods: We analyzed a multi-site cohort of 4,163 acute ischemic strokes (AIS) patients with T2-FLAIR MR images with total brain and WMH segmentations. Radiomic features were extracted from normal-appearing brain tissue (brain mask-WMH mask). Radiomics-based prediction of personalized WMH burden was done using ElasticNet linear regression. We built a radiomic signature of WMH with stable selected features predictive of WMH burden and then related this signature to clinical variables using canonical correlation analysis (CCA). Results: Radiomic features were predictive of WMH burden (R 2 = 0.855 ± 0.011). Seven pairs of canonical variates (CV) significantly correlated the radiomics signature of WMH and clinical traits with respective canonical correlations of 0.81, 0.65, 0.42, 0.24, 0.20, 0.15, and 0.15 (FDR-corrected p-values CV 1 - 6 < 0.001, p-value CV 7 = 0.012). The clinical CV1 was mainly influenced by age, CV2 by sex, CV3 by history of smoking and diabetes, CV4 by hypertension, CV5 by atrial fibrillation (AF) and diabetes, CV6 by coronary artery disease (CAD), and CV7 by CAD and diabetes. Conclusion: Radiomics extracted from T2-FLAIR images of AIS patients capture microstructural damage of the cerebral parenchyma and correlate with clinical phenotypes, suggesting different radiographical textural abnormalities per cardiovascular risk profile. Further research could evaluate radiomics to predict the progression of WMH and for the follow-up of stroke patients' brain health.
    Etherton MR, Wu O, Giese A-K, Rost NS. Normal-appearing white matter microstructural injury is associated with white matter hyperintensity burden in acute ischemic stroke. Int J Stroke 2021;16(2):184-191.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: White matter hyperintensity of presumed vascular origin is a risk factor for poor stroke outcomes. In patients with acute ischemic stroke, however, the in vivo mechanisms of white matter microstructural injury are less clear. AIMS: To characterize the directional diffusivity components in normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensity in acute ischemic stroke patients. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed on a cohort of patients with acute ischemic stroke and brain magnetic resonance imaging with diffusion tensor imaging sequences acquired within 48 h of admission. White matter hyperintensity volume was measured in a semi-automated manner. Median fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity values were calculated within normal-appearing white matter and white matter hyperintensity in the hemisphere contralateral to the acute infarct. Linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate predictors of white matter hyperintensity volume and normal-appearing white matter diffusivity metrics. RESULTS: In 319 patients, mean age was 64.9 ± 15.9 years. White matter hyperintensity volume was 6.33 cm3 (interquartile range 3.0-12.6 cm3). Axial and radial diffusivity were significantly increased in white matter hyperintensity compared to normal-appearing white matter. In multivariable linear regression, age (β = 0.20, P = 0.003) and normal-appearing white matter axial diffusivity (β = 37.9, P < 0.001) were independently associated with white matter hyperintensity volume. Subsequent analysis demonstrated that increasing age (β = 0.004, P < 0.001) and admission diastolic blood pressure (β = 0.001, P = 0.02) were independent predictors of normal-appearing white matter axial diffusivity in multivariable linear regression. CONCLUSIONS: Normal-appearing white matter axial diffusivity increases with age and is an independent predictor of white matter hyperintensity volume in acute ischemic stroke.
    González GR, Silva GS, He J, Sadaghiani S, Wu O, Singhal AB. Identifying Severe Stroke Patients Likely to Benefit From Thrombectomy Despite Delays of up to a Day. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):4008.Abstract
    Selected patients with large vessel occlusions (LVO) can benefit from thrombectomy up to 24 hours after onset. Identifying patients who might benefit from late intervention after transfer from community hospitals to thrombectomy-capable centers would be valuable. We searched for presentation biomarkers to identify such patients. Frequent MR imaging over 2 days of 38 untreated LVO patients revealed logarithmic growth of the ischemic infarct core. In 24 patients with terminal internal carotid artery or the proximal middle cerebral artery occlusions we found that an infarct core growth rate (IGR) <4.1 ml/hr and initial infarct core volumes (ICV) <19.9 ml had accuracies >89% for identifying patients who would still have a core of <50 ml 24 hours after stroke onset, a core size that should predict favorable outcomes with thrombectomy. Published reports indicate that up to half of all LVO stroke patients have an IGR <4.1 ml/hr. Other potentially useful biomarkers include the NIHSS and the perfusion measurements MTT and Tmax. We conclude that many LVO patients have a stroke physiology that is favorable for late intervention, and that there are biomarkers that can accurately identify them at early time points as suitable for transfer for intervention.
    Schirmer MD, Donahue KL, Nardin MJ, Dalca AV, Giese A-K, Etherton MR, Mocking SJT, McIntosh EC, Cole JW, Holmegaard L, Jood K, Jimenez-Conde J, Kittner SJ, Lemmens R, Meschia JF, Rosand J, Roquer J, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Stanne TM, Vagal A, Wasselius J, Woo D, Bevan S, Heitsch L, Phuah C-L, Strbian D, Tatlisumak T, Levi CR, Attia J, McArdle PF, Worrall BB, Wu O, Jern C, Lindgren A, Maguire J, Thijs V, Rost NS. Brain Volume: An Important Determinant of Functional Outcome After Acute Ischemic Stroke. Mayo Clin Proc 2020;95(5):955-965.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether brain volume is associated with functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke (AIS). PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study was conducted between July 1, 2014, and March 16, 2019. We analyzed cross-sectional data of the multisite, international hospital-based MRI-Genetics Interface Exploration study with clinical brain magnetic resonance imaging obtained on admission for index stroke and functional outcome assessment. Poststroke outcome was determined using the modified Rankin Scale score (0-6; 0 = asymptomatic; 6 = death) recorded between 60 and 190 days after stroke. Demographic characteristics and other clinical variables including acute stroke severity (measured as National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score), vascular risk factors, and etiologic stroke subtypes (Causative Classification of Stroke system) were recorded during index admission. RESULTS: Utilizing the data from 912 patients with AIS (mean ± SD age, 65.3±14.5 years; male, 532 [58.3%]; history of smoking, 519 [56.9%]; hypertension, 595 [65.2%]) in a generalized linear model, brain volume (per 155.1 cm3) was associated with age (β -0.3 [per 14.4 years]), male sex (β 1.0), and prior stroke (β -0.2). In the multivariable outcome model, brain volume was an independent predictor of modified Rankin Scale score (β -0.233), with reduced odds of worse long-term functional outcomes (odds ratio, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7-0.9) in those with larger brain volumes. CONCLUSION: Larger brain volume quantified on clinical magnetic resonance imaging of patients with AIS at the time of stroke purports a protective mechanism. The role of brain volume as a prognostic, protective biomarker has the potential to forge new areas of research and advance current knowledge of the mechanisms of poststroke recovery.
    Drake M, Frid P, Hansen BM, Wu O, Giese A-K, Schirmer MD, Donahue K, Cloonan L, Irie RE, Bouts MJRJ, McIntosh EC, Mocking SJT, Dalca AV, Sridharan R, Xu H, Giralt-Steinhauer E, Holmegaard L, Jood K, Roquer J, Cole JW, McArdle PF, Broderick JP, Jiménez-Conde J, Jern C, Kissela BM, Kleindorfer DO, Lemmens R, Meschia JF, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Thijs V, Woo D, Worrall BB, Kittner SJ, Mitchell BD, Rosand J, Golland P, Lindgren A, Rost NS, Wassélius J. Diffusion-Weighted Imaging, MR Angiography, and Baseline Data in a Systematic Multicenter Analysis of 3,301 MRI Scans of Ischemic Stroke Patients-Neuroradiological Review Within the MRI-GENIE Study. Front Neurol 2020;11:577.Abstract
    Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) serves as a cornerstone in defining stroke phenotype and etiological subtype through examination of ischemic stroke lesion appearance and is therefore an essential tool in linking genetic traits and stroke. Building on baseline MRI examinations from the centralized and structured radiological assessments of ischemic stroke patients in the Stroke Genetics Network, the results of the MRI-Genetics Interface Exploration (MRI-GENIE) study are described in this work. Methods: The MRI-GENIE study included patients with symptoms caused by ischemic stroke (N = 3,301) from 12 international centers. We established and used a structured reporting protocol for all assessments. Two neuroradiologists, using a blinded evaluation protocol, independently reviewed the baseline diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) and magnetic resonance angiography images to determine acute lesion and vascular occlusion characteristics. Results: In this systematic multicenter radiological analysis of clinical MRI from 3,301 acute ischemic stroke patients according to a structured prespecified protocol, we identified that anterior circulation infarcts were most prevalent (67.4%), that infarcts in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory were the most common, and that the majority of large artery occlusions 0 to 48 h from ictus were in the MCA territory. Multiple acute lesions in one or several vascular territories were common (11%). Of 2,238 patients with unilateral DWI lesions, 52.6% had left-sided infarct lateralization (P = 0.013 for χ2 test). Conclusions: This large-scale analysis of a multicenter MRI-based cohort of AIS patients presents a unique imaging framework facilitating the relationship between imaging and genetics for advancing the knowledge of genetic traits linked to ischemic stroke.
    Giese A-K, Schirmer MD, Dalca AV, Sridharan R, Donahue KL, Nardin M, Irie R, McIntosh EC, Mocking SJT, Xu H, Cole JW, Giralt-Steinhauer E, Jimenez-Conde J, Jern C, Kleindorfer DO, Lemmens R, Wasselius J, Lindgren A, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Thijs V, Worrall BB, Woo D, Kittner SJ, McArdle PF, Mitchell BD, Rosand J, Meschia JF, Wu O, Golland P, Rost NS. White matter hyperintensity burden in acute stroke patients differs by ischemic stroke subtype. Neurology 2020;95(1):e79-e88.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: To examine etiologic stroke subtypes and vascular risk factor profiles and their association with white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden in patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke (AIS). METHODS: For the MRI Genetics Interface Exploration (MRI-GENIE) study, we systematically assembled brain imaging and phenotypic data for 3,301 patients with AIS. All cases underwent standardized web tool-based stroke subtyping with the Causative Classification of Ischemic Stroke (CCS). WMH volume (WMHv) was measured on T2 brain MRI scans of 2,529 patients with a fully automated deep-learning trained algorithm. Univariable and multivariable linear mixed-effects modeling was carried out to investigate the relationship of vascular risk factors with WMHv and CCS subtypes. RESULTS: Patients with AIS with large artery atherosclerosis, major cardioembolic stroke, small artery occlusion (SAO), other, and undetermined causes of AIS differed significantly in their vascular risk factor profile (all p < 0.001). Median WMHv in all patients with AIS was 5.86 cm3 (interquartile range 2.18-14.61 cm3) and differed significantly across CCS subtypes (p < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, age, hypertension, prior stroke, smoking (all p < 0.001), and diabetes mellitus (p = 0.041) were independent predictors of WMHv. When adjusted for confounders, patients with SAO had significantly higher WMHv compared to those with all other stroke subtypes (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In this international multicenter, hospital-based cohort of patients with AIS, we demonstrate that vascular risk factor profiles and extent of WMH burden differ by CCS subtype, with the highest lesion burden detected in patients with SAO. These findings further support the small vessel hypothesis of WMH lesions detected on brain MRI of patients with ischemic stroke.
    Etherton MR, Fotiadis P, Giese A-K, Iglesias JE, Wu O, Rost NS. White Matter Hyperintensity Burden Is Associated With Hippocampal Subfield Volume in Stroke. Front Neurol 2020;11:588883.Abstract
    White matter hyperintensities of presumed vascular origin (WMH) are a prevalent form of cerebral small-vessel disease and an important risk factor for post-stroke cognitive dysfunction. Despite this prevalence, it is not well understood how WMH contributes to post-stroke cognitive dysfunction. Preliminary findings suggest that increasing WMH volume is associated with total hippocampal volume in chronic stroke patients. The hippocampus, however, is a complex structure with distinct subfields that have varying roles in the function of the hippocampal circuitry and unique anatomical projections to different brain regions. For these reasons, an investigation into the relationship between WMH and hippocampal subfield volume may further delineate how WMH predispose to post-stroke cognitive dysfunction. In a prospective study of acute ischemic stroke patients with moderate/severe WMH burden, we assessed the relationship between quantitative WMH burden and hippocampal subfield volumes. Patients underwent a 3T MRI brain within 2-5 days of stroke onset. Total WMH volume was calculated in a semi-automated manner. Mean cortical thickness and hippocampal volumes were measured in the contralesional hemisphere. Total and subfield hippocampal volumes were measured using an automated, high-resolution, ex vivo computational atlas. Linear regression analyses were performed for predictors of total and subfield hippocampal volumes. Forty patients with acute ischemic stroke and moderate/severe white matter hyperintensity burden were included in this analysis. Median WMH volume was 9.0 cm3. Adjusting for intracranial volume and stroke laterality, age (β = -3.7, P < 0.001), hypertension (β = -44.7, P = 0.04), WMH volume (β = -0.89, P = 0.049), and mean cortical thickness (β = 286.2, P = 0.006) were associated with total hippocampal volume. In multivariable analysis, age (β = -3.3, P < 0.001) and cortical thickness (β = 205.2, P = 0.028) remained independently associated with total hippocampal volume. In linear regression for predictors of hippocampal subfield volume, increasing WMH volume was associated with decreased hippocampal-amygdala transition area volume (β = -0.04, P = 0.001). These finding suggest that in ischemic stroke patients, increased WMH burden is associated with selective hippocampal subfield degeneration in the hippocampal-amygdala transition area.
    Dubost F, de Bruijne M, Nardin M, Dalca AV, Donahue KL, Giese A-K, Etherton MR, Wu O, de Groot M, Niessen W, Vernooij M, Rost NS, Schirmer MD. Multi-atlas image registration of clinical data with automated quality assessment using ventricle segmentation. Med Image Anal 2020;63:101698.Abstract
    Registration is a core component of many imaging pipelines. In case of clinical scans, with lower resolution and sometimes substantial motion artifacts, registration can produce poor results. Visual assessment of registration quality in large clinical datasets is inefficient. In this work, we propose to automatically assess the quality of registration to an atlas in clinical FLAIR MRI scans of the brain. The method consists of automatically segmenting the ventricles of a given scan using a neural network, and comparing the segmentation to the atlas ventricles propagated to image space. We used the proposed method to improve clinical image registration to a general atlas by computing multiple registrations - one directly to the general atlas and others via different age-specific atlases - and then selecting the registration that yielded the highest ventricle overlap. Finally, as an example application of the complete pipeline, a voxelwise map of white matter hyperintensity burden was computed using only the scans with registration quality above a predefined threshold. Methods were evaluated in a single-site dataset of more than 1000 scans, as well as a multi-center dataset comprising 142 clinical scans from 12 sites. The automated ventricle segmentation reached a Dice coefficient with manual annotations of 0.89 in the single-site dataset, and 0.83 in the multi-center dataset. Registration via age-specific atlases could improve ventricle overlap compared to a direct registration to the general atlas (Dice similarity coefficient increase up to 0.15). Experiments also showed that selecting scans with the registration quality assessment method could improve the quality of average maps of white matter hyperintensity burden, instead of using all scans for the computation of the white matter hyperintensity map. In this work, we demonstrated the utility of an automated tool for assessing image registration quality in clinical scans. This image quality assessment step could ultimately assist in the translation of automated neuroimaging pipelines to the clinic.
    Thomalla G, Boutitie F, Ma H, Koga M, Ringleb P, Schwamm LH, Wu O, Bendszus M, Bladin CF, Campbell BCV, Cheng B, Churilov L, Ebinger M, Endres M, Fiebach JB, Fukuda-Doi M, Inoue M, Kleinig TJ, Latour LL, Lemmens R, Levi CR, Leys D, Miwa K, Molina CA, Muir KW, Nighoghossian N, Parsons MW, Pedraza S, Schellinger PD, Schwab S, Simonsen CZ, Song SS, Thijs V, Toni D, Hsu CY, Wahlgren N, Yamamoto H, Yassi N, Yoshimura S, Warach S, Hacke W, Toyoda K, Donnan GA, Davis SM, Gerloff C, of unknown thrombolysis trials investigators EOS (EOS). Intravenous alteplase for stroke with unknown time of onset guided by advanced imaging: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data. Lancet 2020;396(10262):1574-1584.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: Patients who have had a stroke with unknown time of onset have been previously excluded from thrombolysis. We aimed to establish whether intravenous alteplase is safe and effective in such patients when salvageable tissue has been identified with imaging biomarkers. METHODS: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data for trials published before Sept 21, 2020. Randomised trials of intravenous alteplase versus standard of care or placebo in adults with stroke with unknown time of onset with perfusion-diffusion MRI, perfusion CT, or MRI with diffusion weighted imaging-fluid attenuated inversion recovery (DWI-FLAIR) mismatch were eligible. The primary outcome was favourable functional outcome (score of 0-1 on the modified Rankin Scale [mRS]) at 90 days indicating no disability using an unconditional mixed-effect logistic-regression model fitted to estimate the treatment effect. Secondary outcomes were mRS shift towards a better functional outcome and independent outcome (mRS 0-2) at 90 days. Safety outcomes included death, severe disability or death (mRS score 4-6), and symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage. This study is registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020166903. FINDINGS: Of 249 identified abstracts, four trials met our eligibility criteria for inclusion: WAKE-UP, EXTEND, THAWS, and ECASS-4. The four trials provided individual patient data for 843 individuals, of whom 429 (51%) were assigned to alteplase and 414 (49%) to placebo or standard care. A favourable outcome occurred in 199 (47%) of 420 patients with alteplase and in 160 (39%) of 409 patients among controls (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1·49 [95% CI 1·10-2·03]; p=0·011), with low heterogeneity across studies (I2=27%). Alteplase was associated with a significant shift towards better functional outcome (adjusted common OR 1·38 [95% CI 1·05-1·80]; p=0·019), and a higher odds of independent outcome (adjusted OR 1·50 [1·06-2·12]; p=0·022). In the alteplase group, 90 (21%) patients were severely disabled or died (mRS score 4-6), compared with 102 (25%) patients in the control group (adjusted OR 0·76 [0·52-1·11]; p=0·15). 27 (6%) patients died in the alteplase group and 14 (3%) patients died among controls (adjusted OR 2·06 [1·03-4·09]; p=0·040). The prevalence of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage was higher in the alteplase group than among controls (11 [3%] vs two [<1%], adjusted OR 5·58 [1·22-25·50]; p=0·024). INTERPRETATION: In patients who have had a stroke with unknown time of onset with a DWI-FLAIR or perfusion mismatch, intravenous alteplase resulted in better functional outcome at 90 days than placebo or standard care. A net benefit was observed for all functional outcomes despite an increased risk of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage. Although there were more deaths with alteplase than placebo, there were fewer cases of severe disability or death. FUNDING: None.
    Etherton MR, Wu O, Cougo P, Lorenzano S, Li H, Cloonan L, Bouts MJRJ, Lauer A, Arai K, Lo EH, Feske SK, Furie KL, Rost NS. Sex-specific differences in white matter microvascular integrity after ischaemic stroke. Stroke Vasc Neurol 2019;4(4):198-205.Abstract
    Background and purpose: Functional outcomes after ischaemic stroke are worse in women, despite adjusting for differences in comorbidities and treatment approaches. White matter microvascular integrity represents one risk factor for poor long-term functional outcomes after ischaemic stroke. The aim of the study is to characterise sex-specific differences in microvascular integrity in individuals with acute ischaemic stroke. Methods: A retrospective analysis of subjects with acute ischaemic stroke and brain MRI with diffusion-weighted (DWI) and dynamic-susceptibility contrast-enhanced (DSC) perfusion-weighted imaging obtained within 9 hours of last known well was performed. In the hemisphere contralateral to the acute infarct, normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) microvascular integrity was measured using the K 2 coefficient and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values. Regression analyses for predictors of K 2 coefficient, DWI volume and good outcome (90-day modified Rankin scale (mRS) score <2) were performed. Results: 105 men and 79 women met inclusion criteria for analysis. Despite no difference in age, women had increased NAWM K 2 coefficient (1027.4 vs 692.7×10-6/s; p=0.006). In women, atrial fibrillation (β=583.6; p=0.04) and increasing NAWM ADC (β=4.4; p=0.02) were associated with increased NAWM K 2 coefficient. In multivariable regression analysis, the K 2 coefficient was an independent predictor of DWI volume in women (β=0.007; p=0.01) but not men. Conclusions: In women with acute ischaemic stroke, increased NAWM K 2 coefficient is associated with increased infarct volume and chronic white matter structural integrity. Prospective studies investigating sex-specific differences in white matter microvascular integrity are needed.
    Ktena SI, Schirmer MD, Etherton MR, Giese A-K, Tuozzo C, Mills BB, Rueckert D, Wu O, Rost NS. Brain Connectivity Measures Improve Modeling of Functional Outcome After Acute Ischemic Stroke. Stroke 2019;50(10):2761-2767.Abstract
    Background and Purpose- The ability to model long-term functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke represents a major clinical challenge. One approach to potentially improve prediction modeling involves the analysis of connectomics. The field of connectomics represents the brain's connectivity as a graph, whose topological properties have helped uncover underlying mechanisms of brain function in health and disease. Specifically, we assessed the impact of stroke lesions on rich club organization, a high capacity backbone system of brain function. Methods- In a hospital-based cohort of 41 acute ischemic stroke patients, we investigated the effect of acute infarcts on the brain's prestroke rich club backbone and poststroke functional connectomes with respect to poststroke outcome. Functional connectomes were created using 3 anatomic atlases, and characteristic path-length () was calculated for each connectome. The number of rich club regions affected were manually determined using each patient's diffusion weighted image. We investigated differences in with respect to outcome (modified Rankin Scale score; 90 days) and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS; early: 2-5 days; late: 90-day follow-up). Furthermore, we assessed the effect of including number of rich club regions and in outcome models, using linear regression and assessing the explained variance (R). Results- Of 41 patients (mean age [range]: 70 [45-89] years), 61% were male. Lower was generally associated with better outcome. Including number of rich club regions in the backward selection models of outcome, R increased between 1.3- and 2.6-fold beyond that of traditional markers (age and acute lesion volume) for NIHSS and modified Rankin Scale score. Conclusions- In this proof-of-concept study, we showed that information on network topology can be leveraged to improve modeling of poststroke functional outcome. Future studies are warranted to validate this approach in larger prospective studies of outcome prediction in stroke.
    Schirmer MD, Ktena SI, Nardin MJ, Donahue KL, Giese A-K, Etherton MR, Wu O, Rost NS. Rich-Club Organization: An Important Determinant of Functional Outcome After Acute Ischemic Stroke. Front Neurol 2019;10:956.Abstract
    To determine whether the rich-club organization, essential for information transport in the human connectome, is an important biomarker of functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Consecutive AIS patients ( = 344) with acute brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (<48 h) were eligible for this study. Each patient underwent a clinical MRI protocol, which included diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). All DWIs were registered to a template on which rich-club regions have been defined. Using manual outlines of stroke lesions, we automatically counted the number of affected rich-club regions and assessed its effect on the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and modified Rankin Scale (mRS; obtained at 90 days post-stroke) scores through ordinal regression. Of 344 patients (median age 65, inter-quartile range 54-76 years) with a median DWI lesion volume (DWIv) of 3cc, 64% were male. We established that an increase in number of rich-club regions affected by a stroke increases the odds of poor stroke outcome, measured by NIHSS (OR: 1.77, 95%CI 1.41-2.21) and mRS (OR: 1.38, 95%CI 1.11-1.73). Additionally, we demonstrated that the OR exceeds traditional markers, such as DWIv (OR 1.08, 95%CI 1.06-1.11; OR 1.05, 95%CI 1.03-1.07) and age (OR 1.03, 95%CI 1.01-1.05; OR 1.05, 95%CI 1.03-1.07). In this proof-of-concept study, the number of rich-club nodes affected by a stroke lesion presents a translational biomarker of stroke outcome, which can be readily assessed using standard clinical AIS imaging protocols and considered in functional outcome prediction models beyond traditional factors.

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