Publications

    Winzeck S, Mocking SJT, Bezerra R, Bouts MJRJ, McIntosh EC, Diwan I, Garg P, Chutinet A, Kimberly WT, Copen WA, Schaefer PW, Ay H, Singhal AB, Kamnitsas K, Glocker B, Sorensen AG, Wu O. Ensemble of Convolutional Neural Networks Improves Automated Segmentation of Acute Ischemic Lesions Using Multiparametric Diffusion-Weighted MRI. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2019;40(6):938-945.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Accurate automated infarct segmentation is needed for acute ischemic stroke studies relying on infarct volumes as an imaging phenotype or biomarker that require large numbers of subjects. This study investigated whether an ensemble of convolutional neural networks trained on multiparametric DWI maps outperforms single networks trained on solo DWI parametric maps. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Convolutional neural networks were trained on combinations of DWI, ADC, and low b-value-weighted images from 116 subjects. The performances of the networks (measured by the Dice score, sensitivity, and precision) were compared with one another and with ensembles of 5 networks. To assess the generalizability of the approach, we applied the best-performing model to an independent Evaluation Cohort of 151 subjects. Agreement between manual and automated segmentations for identifying patients with large lesion volumes was calculated across multiple thresholds (21, 31, 51, and 70 cm). RESULTS: An ensemble of convolutional neural networks trained on DWI, ADC, and low b-value-weighted images produced the most accurate acute infarct segmentation over individual networks ( < .001). Automated volumes correlated with manually measured volumes (Spearman ρ = 0.91, < .001) for the independent cohort. For the task of identifying patients with large lesion volumes, agreement between manual outlines and automated outlines was high (Cohen κ, 0.86-0.90; < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Acute infarcts are more accurately segmented using ensembles of convolutional neural networks trained with multiparametric maps than by using a single model trained with a solo map. Automated lesion segmentation has high agreement with manual techniques for identifying patients with large lesion volumes.
    Wu O, Winzeck S, Giese A-K, Hancock BL, Etherton MR, Bouts MJRJ, Donahue K, Schirmer MD, Irie RE, Mocking SJT, McIntosh EC, Bezerra R, Kamnitsas K, Frid P, Wasselius J, Cole JW, Xu H, Holmegaard L, Jiménez-Conde J, Lemmens R, Lorentzen E, McArdle PF, Meschia JF, Roquer J, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Stanne TM, Thijs V, Vagal A, Woo D, Bevan S, Kittner SJ, Mitchell BD, Rosand J, Worrall BB, Jern C, Lindgren AG, Maguire J, Rost NS. Big Data Approaches to Phenotyping Acute Ischemic Stroke Using Automated Lesion Segmentation of Multi-Center Magnetic Resonance Imaging Data. Stroke 2019;50(7):1734-1741.Abstract
    Background and Purpose- We evaluated deep learning algorithms' segmentation of acute ischemic lesions on heterogeneous multi-center clinical diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data sets and explored the potential role of this tool for phenotyping acute ischemic stroke. Methods- Ischemic stroke data sets from the MRI-GENIE (MRI-Genetics Interface Exploration) repository consisting of 12 international genetic research centers were retrospectively analyzed using an automated deep learning segmentation algorithm consisting of an ensemble of 3-dimensional convolutional neural networks. Three ensembles were trained using data from the following: (1) 267 patients from an independent single-center cohort, (2) 267 patients from MRI-GENIE, and (3) mixture of (1) and (2). The algorithms' performances were compared against manual outlines from a separate 383 patient subset from MRI-GENIE. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression with respect to demographics, stroke subtypes, and vascular risk factors were performed to identify phenotypes associated with large acute diffusion-weighted MRI volumes and greater stroke severity in 2770 MRI-GENIE patients. Stroke topography was investigated. Results- The ensemble consisting of a mixture of MRI-GENIE and single-center convolutional neural networks performed best. Subset analysis comparing automated and manual lesion volumes in 383 patients found excellent correlation (ρ=0.92; P<0.0001). Median (interquartile range) diffusion-weighted MRI lesion volumes from 2770 patients were 3.7 cm (0.9-16.6 cm). Patients with small artery occlusion stroke subtype had smaller lesion volumes ( P<0.0001) and different topography compared with other stroke subtypes. Conclusions- Automated accurate clinical diffusion-weighted MRI lesion segmentation using deep learning algorithms trained with multi-center and diverse data is feasible. Both lesion volume and topography can provide insight into stroke subtypes with sufficient sample size from big heterogeneous multi-center clinical imaging phenotype data sets.
    Rocha EA, Ji R, Ay H, Li Z, Arsava EM, Silva GS, Sorensen AG, Wu O, Singhal AB. Reduced Ischemic Lesion Growth with Heparin in Acute Ischemic Stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2019;28(6):1500-1508.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: The role of heparin in acute ischemic stroke is controversial. We investigated the effect of heparin on ischemic lesion growth. METHODS: Data were analyzed on nonthrombolyzed ischemic stroke patients in whom diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)/perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) MRI was performed less than 12 hours of last known well and showed a PWI-DWI lesion mismatch, and who underwent follow-up neuroimaging at least 4 days after admission. Lesion growth was assessed by (1) absolute lesion growth and (2) percentage mismatch lost (PML). Univariate and multivariate regression analysis, and propensity score matching, were used to determine the effects of heparin on ischemic lesion growth. RESULTS: Of the 113 patients meeting study criteria, 59 received heparin within 24 hours. Heparin use was associated with ∼5-fold reductions in PML (3.5% versus 19.2%, P = .002) and absolute lesion growth (4.7 versus 20.5 mL, P = .009). In multivariate regression models, heparin independently predicted reduced PML (P = .04) and absolute lesion growth (P = .04) in the entire cohort, and in multiple subgroups (patients with and without proximal artery occlusion; DWI volume greater than 5 mL; cardio-embolic mechanism; DEFUSE-3 target mismatch). In propensity score matching analysis where patients were matched by admission NIHSS, DWI volume and proximal artery occlusion, heparin remained an independent predictor of PML (P = .048) and tended to predict absolute lesion growth (P = .06). Heparin treatment did not predict functional outcome at discharge or 90 days. CONCLUSION: Early heparin treatment in acute ischemic stroke patients with PWI-DWI mismatch attenuates ischemic lesion growth. Clinical trials with careful patient selection are warranted to investigate the potential ischemic protective effects of heparin.
    Schröder J, Cheng B, Malherbe C, Ebinger M, Köhrmann M, Wu O, Kang D-W, Liebeskind DS, Tourdias T, Singer OC, Campbell B, Luby M, Warach S, Fiehler J, Kemmling A, Fiebach JB, Gerloff C, Thomalla G. Impact of Lesion Load Thresholds on Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomographic Score in Diffusion-Weighted Imaging. Front Neurol 2018;9:273.Abstract
    Background and aims: Assessment of ischemic lesions on computed tomography or MRI diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) using the Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) is widely used to guide acute stroke treatment. However, it has never been defined how many voxels need to be affected to label a DWI-ASPECTS region ischemic. We aimed to assess the effect of various lesion load thresholds on DWI-ASPECTS and compare this automated analysis with visual rating. Materials and methods: We analyzed overlap of individual DWI lesions of 315 patients from the previously published predictive value of fluid-attenuated inversion recovery study with a probabilistic ASPECTS template derived from 221 CT images. We applied multiple lesion load thresholds per DWI-ASPECTS region (>0, >1, >10, and >20% in each DWI-ASPECTS region) to compute DWI-ASPECTS for each patient and compared the results to visual reading by an experienced stroke neurologist. Results: By visual rating, median ASPECTS was 9, 84 patients had a DWI-ASPECTS score ≤7. Mean DWI lesion volume was 22.1 (±35) ml. In contrast, by use of >0, >1-, >10-, and >20%-thresholds, median DWI-ASPECTS was 1, 5, 8, and 10; 97.1% (306), 72.7% (229), 41% (129), and 25.7% (81) had DWI-ASPECTS ≤7, respectively. Overall agreement between automated assessment and visual rating was low for every threshold used (>0%: κ = 0.020 1%: κ = 0.151; 10%: κ = 0.386; 20% κ = 0.381). Agreement for dichotomized DWI-ASPECTS ranged from fair to substantial (≤7: >10% κ = 0.48; >20% κ = 0.45; ≤5: >10% κ = 0.528; and >20% κ = 0.695). Conclusion: Overall agreement between automated and the standard used visual scoring is low regardless of the lesion load threshold used. However, dichotomized scoring achieved more comparable results. Varying lesion load thresholds had a critical impact on patient selection by ASPECTS. Of note, the relatively low lesion volume and lack of patients with large artery occlusion in our cohort may limit generalizability of these findings.
    Lorenzano S, Rost NS, Khan M, Li H, Lima FO, Maas MB, Green RE, Thankachan TK, Dipietro AJ, Arai K, Som AT, Pham L-DD, Wu O, Harris GJ, Lo EH, Blumberg JB, Milbury PE, Feske SK, Furie KL. Oxidative Stress Biomarkers of Brain Damage: Hyperacute Plasma F2-Isoprostane Predicts Infarct Growth in Stroke. Stroke 2018;Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Oxidative stress is an early response to cerebral ischemia and is likely to play an important role in the pathogenesis of cerebral ischemic injury. We sought to evaluate whether hyperacute plasma concentrations of biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage predict infarct growth (IG). METHODS: We prospectively measured plasma F2-isoprostane (F2-isoP), urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguoanosine, plasma oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay, high sensitivity C reactive protein, and matrix metalloproteinase 2 and 9 in consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke presenting within 9 hours of symptom onset. Patients with baseline diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and follow-up diffusion-weighted imaging or computed tomographic scan were included to evaluate the final infarct volume. Baseline diffusion-weighted imaging volume and final infarct volume were analyzed using semiautomated volumetric method. IG volume was defined as the difference between final infarct volume and baseline diffusion-weighted imaging volume. RESULTS: A total of 220 acute ischemic stroke subjects were included in the final analysis. One hundred seventy of these had IG. Baseline F2-isoP significantly correlated with IG volume (Spearman ρ=0.20; P=0.005) and final infarct volume (Spearman ρ=0.19; P=0.009). In a multivariate binary logistic regression model, baseline F2-isoP emerged as an independent predictor of the occurrence of IG (odds ratio, 2.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.37-4.83; P=0.007). In a multivariate linear regression model, baseline F2-isoP was independently associated with IG volume (B, 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.04-0.72; P=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Elevated hyperacute plasma F2-isoP concentrations independently predict the occurrence of IG and IG volume in patients with acute ischemic stroke. If validated in future studies, measuring plasma F2-isoP might be helpful in the acute setting to stratify patients with acute ischemic stroke for relative severity of ischemic injury and expected progression.
    Etherton MR, Rost NS, Wu O. Infarct topography and functional outcomes. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2018;38(9):1517-1532.Abstract
    Acute ischemic stroke represents a major cause of long-term adult disability. Accurate prognostication of post-stroke functional outcomes is invaluable in guiding patient care, targeting early rehabilitation efforts, selecting patients for clinical research, and conveying realistic expectations to families. The involvement of specific brain regions by acute ischemia can alter post-stroke recovery potential. Understanding the influences of infarct topography on neurologic outcomes holds significant promise in prognosis of functional recovery. In this review, we discuss the recent evidence of the contribution of infarct location to patient management decisions and functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke.
    Rost NS, Cougo P, Lorenzano S, Li H, Cloonan L, Bouts MJRJ, Lauer A, Etherton MR, Karadeli HH, Musolino PL, Copen WA, Arai K, Lo EH, Feske SK, Furie KL, Wu O. Diffuse microvascular dysfunction and loss of white matter integrity predict poor outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2018;38(1):75-86.Abstract
    We sought to investigate the relationship between blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and microstructural white matter integrity, and their potential impact on long-term functional outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). We studied 184 AIS subjects with perfusion-weighted MRI (PWI) performed <9 h from last known well time. White matter hyperintensity (WMH), acute infarct, and PWI-derived mean transit time lesion volumes were calculated. Mean BBB leakage rates (K2 coefficient) and mean diffusivity values were measured in contralesional normal-appearing white matter (NAWM). Plasma matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) levels were studied at baseline and 48 h. Admission stroke severity was evaluated using the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS). Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was obtained at 90-days post-stroke. We found that higher mean K2 and diffusivity values correlated with age, elevated baseline MMP-2 levels, greater NIHSS and worse 90-day mRS (all p < 0.05). In multivariable analysis, WMH volume was associated with mean K2 ( p = 0.0007) and diffusivity ( p = 0.006) values in contralesional NAWM. In summary, WMH severity measured on brain MRI of AIS patients is associated with metrics of increased BBB permeability and abnormal white matter microstructural integrity. In future studies, these MRI markers of diffuse cerebral microvascular dysfunction may improve prediction of cerebral tissue infarction and functional post-stroke outcomes.
    Etherton MR, Wu O, Cougo P, Giese A-K, Cloonan L, Fitzpatrick KM, Kanakis AS, Boulouis G, Karadeli HH, Lauer A, Rosand J, Furie KL, Rost NS. Structural Integrity of Normal Appearing White Matter and Sex-Specific Outcomes After Acute Ischemic Stroke. Stroke 2017;48(12):3387-3389.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Women have worse poststroke outcomes than men. We evaluated sex-specific clinical and neuroimaging characteristics of white matter in association with functional recovery after acute ischemic stroke. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of acute ischemic stroke patients with admission brain MRI and 3- to 6-month modified Rankin Scale score. White matter hyperintensity and acute infarct volume were quantified on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and diffusion tensor imaging MRI, respectively. Diffusivity anisotropy metrics were calculated in normal appearing white matter contralateral to the acute ischemia. RESULTS: Among 319 patients with acute ischemic stroke, women were older (68.0 versus 62.7 years; P=0.004), had increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (21.4% versus 12.2%; P=0.04), and lower rate of tobacco use (21.1% versus 35.9%; P=0.03). There was no sex-specific difference in white matter hyperintensity volume, acute infarct volume, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, prestroke modified Rankin Scale score, or normal appearing white matter diffusivity anisotropy metrics. However, women were less likely to have an excellent outcome (modified Rankin Scale score <2: 49.6% versus 67.0%; P=0.005). In logistic regression analysis, female sex and the interaction of sex with fractional anisotropy, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity were independent predictors of functional outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Female sex is associated with decreased likelihood of excellent outcome after acute ischemic stroke. The correlation between markers of white matter integrity and functional outcomes in women, but not men, suggests a potential sex-specific mechanism.
    Copen WA, Yoo AJ, Rost NS, Morais LT, Schaefer PW, González GR, Wu O. In patients with suspected acute stroke, CT perfusion-based cerebral blood flow maps cannot substitute for DWI in measuring the ischemic core. PLoS One 2017;12(11):e0188891.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: Neuroimaging may guide acute stroke treatment by measuring the volume of brain tissue in the irreversibly injured "ischemic core." The most widely accepted core volume measurement technique is diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI). However, some claim that measuring regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) with CT perfusion imaging (CTP), and labeling tissue below some threshold as the core, provides equivalent estimates. We tested whether any threshold allows reliable substitution of CBF for DWI. METHODS: 58 patients with suspected stroke underwent DWI and CTP within six hours of symptom onset. A neuroradiologist outlined DWI lesions. In CBF maps, core pixels were defined by thresholds ranging from 0%-100% of normal, in 1% increments. Replicating prior studies, we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to select thresholds that optimized sensitivity and specificity in predicting DWI-positive pixels, first using only pixels on the side of the brain where infarction was clinically suspected ("unilateral" method), then including both sides ("bilateral"). We quantified each method and threshold's accuracy in estimating DWI volumes, using sums of squared errors (SSE). For the 23 patients with follow-up studies, we assessed whether CBF-derived volumes inaccurately exceeded follow-up infarct volumes. RESULTS: The areas under the ROC curves were 0.89 (unilateral) and 0.90 (bilateral). Various metrics selected optimum CBF thresholds ranging from 29%-32%, with sensitivities of 0.79-0.81, and specificities of 0.83-0.85. However, for the unilateral and bilateral methods respectively, volume estimates derived from all CBF thresholds above 28% and 22% were less accurate than disregarding imaging and presuming every patient's core volume to be zero. The unilateral method with a 30% threshold, which recent clinical trials have employed, produced a mean core overestimation of 65 mL (range: -82-191), and exceeded follow-up volumes for 83% of patients, by up to 191 mL. CONCLUSION: CTP-derived CBF maps cannot substitute for DWI in measuring the ischemic core.
    Bouts MJRJ, Westmoreland SV, de Crespigny AJ, Liu Y, Vangel M, Dijkhuizen RM, Wu O, D'Arceuil HE. Magnetic resonance imaging-based cerebral tissue classification reveals distinct spatiotemporal patterns of changes after stroke in non-human primates. BMC Neurosci 2015;16:91.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: Spatial and temporal changes in brain tissue after acute ischemic stroke are still poorly understood. Aims of this study were three-fold: (1) to determine unique temporal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) patterns at the acute, subacute and chronic stages after stroke in macaques by combining quantitative T2 and diffusion MRI indices into MRI 'tissue signatures', (2) to evaluate temporal differences in these signatures between transient (n = 2) and permanent (n = 2) middle cerebral artery occlusion, and (3) to correlate histopathology findings in the chronic stroke period to the acute and subacute MRI derived tissue signatures. RESULTS: An improved iterative self-organizing data analysis algorithm was used to combine T2, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and fractional anisotropy (FA) maps across seven successive timepoints (1, 2, 3, 24, 72, 144, 240 h) which revealed five temporal MRI signatures, that were different from the normal tissue pattern (P < 0.001). The distribution of signatures between brains with permanent and transient occlusions varied significantly between groups (P < 0.001). Qualitative comparisons with histopathology revealed that these signatures represented regions with different histopathology. Two signatures identified areas of progressive injury marked by severe necrosis and the presence of gitter cells. Another signature identified less severe but pronounced neuronal and axonal degeneration, while the other signatures depicted tissue remodeling with vascular proliferation and astrogliosis. CONCLUSION: These exploratory results demonstrate the potential of temporally and spatially combined voxel-based methods to generate tissue signatures that may correlate with distinct histopathological features. The identification of distinct ischemic MRI signatures associated with specific tissue fates may further aid in assessing and monitoring the efficacy of novel pharmaceutical treatments for stroke in a pre-clinical and clinical setting.
    Schröder J, Cheng B, Ebinger M, Köhrmann M, Wu O, Kang D-W, Liebeskind DS, Tourdias T, Singer OC, Christensen S, Campbell B, Luby M, Warach S, Fiehler J, Fiebach JB, Gerloff C, Thomalla G. Validity of acute stroke lesion volume estimation by diffusion-weighted imaging-Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomographic Score depends on lesion location in 496 patients with middle cerebral artery stroke. Stroke 2014;45(12):3583-8.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomographic Score (ASPECTS) has been used to estimate diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) lesion volume in acute stroke. We aimed to assess correlations of DWI-ASPECTS with lesion volume in different middle cerebral artery (MCA) subregions and reproduce existing ASPECTS thresholds of a malignant profile defined by lesion volume ≥100 mL. METHODS: We analyzed data of patients with MCA stroke from a prospective observational study of DWI and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery in acute stroke. DWI-ASPECTS and lesion volume were calculated. The population was divided into subgroups based on lesion localization (superficial MCA territory, deep MCA territory, or both). Correlation of ASPECTS and infarct volume was calculated, and receiver-operating characteristics curve analysis was performed to identify the optimal ASPECTS threshold for ≥100-mL lesion volume. RESULTS: A total of 496 patients were included. There was a significant negative correlation between ASPECTS and DWI lesion volume (r=-0.78; P<0.0001). With regards to lesion localization, correlation was weaker in deep MCA region (r=-0.19; P=0.038) when compared with superficial (r=-0.72; P<0.001) or combined superficial and deep MCA lesions (r=-0.72; P<0.001). Receiver-operating characteristics analysis revealed ASPECTS≤6 as best cutoff to identify ≥100-mL DWI lesion volume; however, positive predictive value was low (0.35). CONCLUSIONS: ASPECTS has limitations when lesion location is not considered. Identification of patients with malignant profile by DWI-ASPECTS may be unreliable. ASPECTS may be a useful tool for the evaluation of noncontrast computed tomography. However, if MRI is used, ASPECTS seems dispensable because lesion volume can easily be quantified on DWI maps.
    Bouts MJRJ, Tiebosch IA, van der Toorn A, Viergever MA, Wu O, Dijkhuizen RM. Early identification of potentially salvageable tissue with MRI-based predictive algorithms after experimental ischemic stroke. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2013;33(7):1075-82.Abstract
    Individualized stroke treatment decisions can be improved by accurate identification of the extent of salvageable tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based approaches, including measurement of a 'perfusion-diffusion mismatch' and calculation of infarction probability, allow assessment of tissue-at-risk; however, the ability to explicitly depict potentially salvageable tissue remains uncertain. In this study, five predictive algorithms (generalized linear model (GLM), generalized additive model, support vector machine, adaptive boosting, and random forest) were tested in their potency to depict acute cerebral ischemic tissue that can recover after reperfusion. Acute T2-, diffusion-, and perfusion-weighted MRI, and follow-up T2 maps were collected from rats subjected to right-sided middle cerebral artery occlusion without subsequent reperfusion, for training of algorithms (Group I), and with spontaneous (Group II) or thrombolysis-induced reperfusion (Group III), to determine infarction probability-based viability thresholds and prediction accuracies. The infarction probability difference between irreversible-i.e., infarcted after reperfusion-and salvageable tissue injury-i.e., noninfarcted after reperfusion-was largest for GLM (20±7%) with highest accuracy of risk-based identification of acutely ischemic tissue that could recover on subsequent reperfusion (Dice's similarity index=0.79±0.14). Our study shows that assessment of the heterogeneity of infarction probability with MRI-based algorithms enables estimation of the extent of potentially salvageable tissue after acute ischemic stroke.
    Gökçay F, Arsava EM, Baykaner T, Vangel M, Garg P, Wu O, Singhal AB, Furie KL, Sorensen AG, Ay H. Age-dependent susceptibility to infarct growth in women. Stroke 2011;42(4):947-51.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

    It is not known if there is a relationship between gender and tissue outcome in human ischemic stroke. We sought to identify whether the proportion of initially ischemic to eventually infarcted tissue was different between men and women with ischemic stroke.

    METHODS:

    We studied 141 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke who had a baseline MRI obtained within 12 hours of symptom onset, a follow-up imaging on Day 4 or later, and diffusion-weighted imaging/mean transmit time mismatch on initial MRI. Lesion growth was calculated as percentage of mismatch tissue that underwent infarction on follow-up (percentage mismatch lost). Multivariable analyses explored the effect of gender and other predictors of tissue outcome on percentage mismatch lost.

    RESULTS:

    There was no difference in median percentage mismatch lost between men (19%) and women (11%; P=0.720). There was, however, an interaction between gender and age; median percentage mismatch lost was 7% (0% to 12%) in women and 18% (1% to 35%) in men younger than the population median (71 years, P=0.061). The percentage mismatch lost was not different between men and women ≥71 years old (25% in both groups). The linear regression model revealed gender (P=0.027) and the interaction between age and gender (P=0.023) as independent predictors of percentage mismatch lost.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    There is an age-by-gender interaction in tissue outcome after ischemic stroke; brain infarcts in women <70 years grow approximately 50% less than infarcts in their male counterparts. These findings extend the well-known concept that there is a differential age-by-gender effect on stroke incidence, mortality, and functional outcome to the tissue level.

    Hjort N, Christensen S, Sølling C, Ashkanian M, Wu O, Røhl L, Gyldensted C, Andersen G, Østergaard L. Ischemic injury detected by diffusion imaging 11 minutes after stroke. Ann Neurol 2005;58(3):462-5.Abstract
    A 78-year-old woman suffered a stroke inside a magnetic resonance scanner while being imaged because of a brief transient ischemic attack 2 hours earlier. Diffusion-weighted images obtained 11 minutes after stroke showed tissue injury not found on initial images. The data show early, abrupt diffusion changes in hypoperfused tissue, adding to our understanding of the progression of microstructural abnormalities in the hyperacute phase of stroke.
    Ay H, Koroshetz WJ, Benner T, Vangel MG, Wu O, Schwamm LH, Sorensen GA. Transient ischemic attack with infarction: a unique syndrome?. Ann Neurol 2005;57(5):679-86.Abstract
    It is debated whether transient symptoms associated with infarction (TSI) are best considered a minor ischemic stroke, a subtype of transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a separate ischemic brain syndrome. We studied clinical and imaging features to establish similarities and differences among ischemic stroke, TIA without infarction, and TSI. Eighty-seven consecutive patients with TIA and 74 patients with ischemic stroke were studied. All underwent diffusion-weighted imaging on admission. Symptom duration and infarct volume were determined in each group. Thirty-six patients (41.3%) with TIA had acute infarct(s). Although TIA-related infarcts were smaller than those associated with ischemic stroke (mean, 0.7 vs 27.3 ml; p < 0.001), there was no lesion size threshold that distinguished ischemic stroke from TSI. In contrast, the symptom duration probability density curve was not broad, but instead peaked early with only a few patients having symptoms for longer than 200 minutes. The probability density function for symptom duration was similar between TIA with or without infarction. The in-hospital recurrent ischemic stroke and TIA rate was 19.4% in patients with TSI and 1.3% in those with ischemic stroke. TIA with infarction appears to have unique features separate from TIA without infarction and ischemic stroke. We propose identifying TSI as a separate clinical syndrome with distinct prognostic features.
    Ozsunar Y, Grant EP, Huisman TAGM, Schaefer PW, Wu O, Sorensen GA, Koroshetz WJ, Gonzalez GR. Evolution of water diffusion and anisotropy in hyperacute stroke: significant correlation between fractional anisotropy and T2. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2004;25(5):699-705.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We hypothesized that, in acute cerebral ischemic stroke, anisotropic diffusion increases if T2 signal intensity is not substantially elevated and decreases once T2 hyperintensity becomes apparent. Our purpose was to correlate fractional anisotropy (FA) measurements with the clinical time of stroke onset, apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC), and T2 signal intensity. METHODS: Tensor diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) of 25 patients were obtained within 12 hours of symptom onset. Trace DWIs, ADCs, FAs, and echo-planar T2-weighted images (T2WI) were generated. Stroke and contralateral normal volumes of interest (VOIs) were outlined on DWIs and projected onto the inherently coregistered ADC map, FA map, and echo-planar T2WI. Mean signal intensity of the ischemic and contralateral normal VOIs were compared for relatives change in ADC, FA, and signal intensity on T2WIs. RESULTS: A significant negative correlation was observed between FA and T2 signal-intensity change (r = -0.61, P =.00009). A trend of correlation between FA signal intensity and time of onset were found (r = -0.438, P =.025). No significant correlation was found between ADC and FA values (r = -0.302, P =.134). The mean ADC reduction in the ipsilateral ischemic volume was 31% +/- 11 compared with the contralateral normal side. CONCLUSION: Change in FA is inversely correlated with T2 signal intensity and, to a lesser extent, the time of onset, but it is not well correlated with ADC values in the acute stage.
    Copen WA, Schwamm LH, González RG, Wu O, Harmath CB, Schaefer PW, Koroshetz WJ, Sorensen AG. Ischemic stroke: effects of etiology and patient age on the time course of the core apparent diffusion coefficient. Radiology 2001;221(1):27-34.Abstract
    PURPOSE: To determine whether the evolution of the core apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water in ischemic stroke varies with patient age or infarct etiology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred forty-seven patients with stroke underwent 236 diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Etiologies of lesions were classified according to predefined criteria; in 224 images, the diagnosis of lacune could be firmly established or excluded. ADC was measured in the center of each lesion and in contralateral normal-appearing brain. A model was used to describe the time course of relative ADC (rADC), which is calculated by dividing the lesion ADC by the contralateral ADC, and to test for age- or etiology-related differences in this time course. RESULTS: Transition from decreasing to increasing rADC was estimated at 18.5 hours after stroke onset. In subgroup analysis, transition was earlier in nonlacunes than in lacunes (P =.02). There was a trend toward earlier transition in patients older than the median age of 66.0 years, compared with younger patients (P =.06). Pseudonormalization was estimated at 216 hours. Among nonlacunes, the rate of subsequent rADC increase was more rapid in younger patients than in older patients (P =.001). Within the smaller sample of lacunes, however, no significant age-related difference in this rate was found. CONCLUSION: Differences in ADC depending on the patient's age and infarct etiology suggest differing rates of ADC progression.
    Wu O, Koroshetz WJ, Ostergaard L, Buonanno FS, Copen WA, Gonzalez RG, Rordorf G, Rosen BR, Schwamm LH, Weisskoff RM, Sorensen AG. Predicting tissue outcome in acute human cerebral ischemia using combined diffusion- and perfusion-weighted MR imaging. Stroke 2001;32(4):933-42.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Tissue signatures from acute MR imaging of the brain may be able to categorize physiological status and thereby assist clinical decision making. We designed and analyzed statistical algorithms to evaluate the risk of infarction for each voxel of tissue using acute human functional MRI. METHODS: Diffusion-weighted MR images (DWI) and perfusion-weighted MR images (PWI) from acute stroke patients scanned within 12 hours of symptom onset were retrospectively studied and used to develop thresholding and generalized linear model (GLM) algorithms predicting tissue outcome as determined by follow-up MRI. The performances of the algorithms were evaluated for each patient by using receiver operating characteristic curves. RESULTS: At their optimal operating points, thresholding algorithms combining DWI and PWI provided 66% sensitivity and 83% specificity, and GLM algorithms combining DWI and PWI predicted with 66% sensitivity and 84% specificity voxels that proceeded to infarct. Thresholding algorithms that combined DWI and PWI provided significant improvement to algorithms that utilized DWI alone (P=0.02) but no significant improvement over algorithms utilizing PWI alone (P=0.21). GLM algorithms that combined DWI and PWI showed significant improvement over algorithms that used only DWI (P=0.02) or PWI (P=0.04). The performances of thresholding and GLM algorithms were comparable (P>0.2). CONCLUSIONS: Algorithms that combine acute DWI and PWI can assess the risk of infarction with higher specificity and sensitivity than algorithms that use DWI or PWI individually. Methods for quantitatively assessing the risk of infarction on a voxel-by-voxel basis show promise as techniques for investigating the natural spatial evolution of ischemic damage in humans.
    Ostergaard L, Sorensen AG, Chesler DA, Weisskoff RM, Koroshetz WJ, Wu O, Gyldensted C, Rosen BR. Combined diffusion-weighted and perfusion-weighted flow heterogeneity magnetic resonance imaging in acute stroke. Stroke 2000;31(5):1097-103.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The heterogeneity of microvascular flows is known to be an important determinant of the efficacy of oxygen delivery to tissue. Studies in animals have demonstrated decreased flow heterogeneity (FH) in states of decreased perfusion pressure. The purpose of the present study was to assess microvascular FH changes in acute stroke with use of a novel perfusion-weighted MRI technique and to evaluate the ability of combined diffusion-weighted MRI and FH measurements to predict final infarct size. METHODS: Cerebral blood flow, FH, and plasma mean transit time (MTT) were measured in 11 patients who presented with acute (<12 hours after symptom onset) stroke. Final infarct size was determined with follow-up MRI or CT scanning. RESULTS: In normal brain tissue, the distribution of relative flows was markedly skewed toward high capillary flow velocities. Within regions of decreased cerebral blood flow, plasma MTT was prolonged. Furthermore, subregions were identified with significant loss of the high-flow component of the flow distribution, thereby causing increased homogeneity of flow velocities. In parametric maps that quantify the acute deviation of FH from that of normal tissue, areas of extreme homogenization of capillary flows predicted final infarct size on follow-up scans of 10 of 11 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Flow heterogeneity and MTT can be rapidly assessed as part of a routine clinical MR examination and may provide a tool for planning of individual stroke treatment, as well as in targeting and evaluation of emerging therapeutic strategies.

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