Lorenzano S, Rost NS, Khan M, Li H, Batista LM, Chutinet A, Green RE, Thankachan TK, Thornell B, Muzikansky A, Arai K, Som AT, Pham L-DD, Wu O, Harris GJ, Lo EH, Blumberg JB, Milbury PE, Feske SK, Furie KL. Early molecular oxidative stress biomarkers of ischemic penumbra in acute stroke. Neurology 2019;93(13):e1288-e1298.Abstract
    OBJECTIVES: To assess whether plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress predict diffusion-perfusion mismatch in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). METHODS: We measured plasma levels of oxidative stress biomarkers such as F2-isoprostanes (F2-isoPs), total and perchloric acid Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC and ORAC), urinary levels of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguoanosine, and inflammatory and tissue-damage biomarkers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9) in a prospective study of patients with AIS presenting within 9 hours of symptom onset. Diffusion-weighted (DWI) and perfusion-weighted (PWI) MRI sequences were analyzed with a semiautomated volumetric method. Mismatch was defined as baseline mean transit time volume minus DWI volume. A percent mismatch cutoff of >20% was considered clinically significant. A stricter definition of mismatch was also used. Mismatch salvage was the region free of overlap by final infarction. RESULTS: Mismatch >20% was present in 153 of 216 (70.8%) patients (mean [±SD] age 69.2 ± 14.3 years, 41.2% women). Patients with mismatch >20% were more likely to have higher baseline plasma levels of ORAC ( = 0.020) and F2-isoPs ( = 0.145). Multivariate binary logistic regression demonstrated that lnF2-isoP (odds ratio [OR] 2.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19-4.98, = 0.014) and lnORAC (OR 4.18, 95% CI 1.41-12.41, = 0.010) were independent predictors of >20% PWI-DWI mismatch and the stricter mismatch definition, respectively. lnORAC significantly predicted mismatch salvage volume (>20% mismatch = 0.010, stricter mismatch definition = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Elevated hyperacute plasma levels of F2-isoP and ORAC are associated with radiographic evidence of mismatch and mismatch salvage in patients with AIS. If validated, these findings may add to our understanding of the role of oxidative stress in cerebral tissue fate during acute ischemia.
    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.
    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.
    Nelson S, Edlow BL, Wu O, Rosenthal ES, Westover BM, Rordorf G. Default Mode Network Perfusion in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Neurocrit Care 2016;25(2):237-42.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: The etiology of altered consciousness in patients with high-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is not thoroughly understood. We hypothesized that decreased cerebral blood flow (CBF) in brain regions critical to consciousness may contribute. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated arterial-spin labeled (ASL) perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of CBF in 12 patients with aneurysmal SAH admitted to our neurocritical care unit. CBF values were analyzed within gray matter nodes of the default mode network (DMN), whose functional integrity has been shown to be necessary for consciousness. DMN nodes studied were the bilateral medial prefrontal cortices, thalami, and posterior cingulate cortices. Correlations between nodal CBF and admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, admission Hunt and Hess (HH) class, and GCS score at the time of MRI (MRI GCS) were tested. RESULTS: Spearman's correlation coefficients were not significant when comparing admission GCS, admission HH, and MRI GCS versus nodal CBF (p > 0.05). However, inter-rater reliability for nodal CBF was high (r = 0.71, p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In this retrospective pilot study, we did not identify significant correlations between CBF and admission GCS, admission HH class, or MRI GCS for any DMN node. Potential explanations for these findings include small sample size, ASL data acquisition at variable times after SAH onset, and CBF analysis in DMN nodes that may not reflect the functional integrity of the entire network. High inter-rater reliability suggests ASL measurements of CBF within DMN nodes are reproducible. Larger prospective studies are needed to elucidate whether decreased cerebral perfusion contributes to altered consciousness in SAH.
    Copen WA, Deipolyi AR, Schaefer PW, Schwamm LH, González RG, Wu O. Exposing hidden truncation-related errors in acute stroke perfusion imaging. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2015;36(4):638-45.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The durations of acute ischemic stroke patients' CT or MR perfusion scans may be too short to fully sample the passage of the injected contrast agent through the brain. We tested the potential magnitude of hidden errors related to the truncation of data by short perfusion scans. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-seven patients with acute ischemic stroke underwent perfusion MR imaging within 12 hours of symptom onset, using a relatively long scan duration (110 seconds). Shorter scan durations (39.5-108.5 seconds) were simulated by progressively deleting the last-acquired images. CBV, CBF, MTT, and time to response function maximum (Tmax) were measured within DWI-identified acute infarcts, with commonly used postprocessing algorithms. All measurements except Tmax were normalized by dividing by the contralateral hemisphere values. The effects of the scan duration on these hemodynamic measurements and on the volumes of lesions with Tmax of >6 seconds were tested using regression. RESULTS: Decreasing scan duration from 110 seconds to 40 seconds falsely reduced perfusion estimates by 47.6%-64.2% of normal for CBV, 1.96%-4.10% for CBF, 133%-205% for MTT, and 6.2-8.0 seconds for Tmax, depending on the postprocessing method. This truncation falsely reduced estimated Tmax lesion volume by 71.5 or 93.8 mL, depending on the deconvolution method. "Lesion reversal" (ie, change from above-normal to apparently normal, or from >6 seconds to ≤6 seconds for the time to response function maximum) with increasing truncation occurred in 37%-46% of lesions for CBV, 2%-4% for CBF, 28%-54% for MTT, and 42%-44% for Tmax, depending on the postprocessing method. CONCLUSIONS: Hidden truncation-related errors in perfusion images may be large enough to alter patient management or affect outcomes of clinical trials.
    Jafari-Khouzani K, Emblem KE, Kalpathy-Cramer J, Bjørnerud A, Vangel MG, Gerstner ER, Schmainda KM, Paynabar K, Wu O, Wen PY, Batchelor T, Rosen B, Stufflebeam SM. Repeatability of Cerebral Perfusion Using Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast MRI in Glioblastoma Patients. Transl Oncol 2015;8(3):137-46.Abstract
    OBJECTIVES: This study evaluates the repeatability of brain perfusion using dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging (DSC-MRI) with a variety of post-processing methods. METHODS: Thirty-two patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma were recruited. On a 3-T MRI using a dual-echo, gradient-echo spin-echo DSC-MRI protocol, the patients were scanned twice 1 to 5 days apart. Perfusion maps including cerebral blood volume (CBV) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) were generated using two contrast agent leakage correction methods, along with testing normalization to reference tissue, and application of arterial input function (AIF). Repeatability of CBV and CBF within tumor regions and healthy tissues, identified by structural images, was assessed with intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) and repeatability coefficients (RCs). Coefficients of variation (CVs) were reported for selected methods. RESULTS: CBV and CBF were highly repeatable within tumor with ICC values up to 0.97. However, both CBV and CBF showed lower ICCs for healthy cortical tissues (up to 0.83), healthy gray matter (up to 0.95), and healthy white matter (WM; up to 0.93). The values of CV ranged from 6% to 10% in tumor and 3% to 11% in healthy tissues. The values of RC relative to the mean value of measurement within healthy WM ranged from 22% to 42% in tumor and 7% to 43% in healthy tissues. These percentages show how much variation in perfusion parameter, relative to that in healthy WM, we expect to observe to consider it statistically significant. We also found that normalization improved repeatability, but AIF deconvolution did not. CONCLUSIONS: DSC-MRI is highly repeatable in high-grade glioma patients.
    Wu O, Benner T, Roccatagliata L, Zhu M, Schaefer PW, Sorensen AG, Singhal AB. Evaluating effects of normobaric oxygen therapy in acute stroke with MRI-based predictive models. Med Gas Res 2012;2(1):5.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: Voxel-based algorithms using acute multiparametric-MRI data have been shown to accurately predict tissue outcome after stroke. We explored the potential of MRI-based predictive algorithms to objectively assess the effects of normobaric oxygen therapy (NBO), an investigational stroke treatment, using data from a pilot study of NBO in acute stroke. METHODS: The pilot study of NBO enrolled 11 patients randomized to NBO administered for 8 hours, and 8 Control patients who received room-air. Serial MRIs were obtained at admission, during gas therapy, post-therapy, and pre-discharge. Diffusion/perfusion MRI data acquired at admission (pre-therapy) was used in generalized linear models to predict the risk of lesion growth at subsequent time points for both treatment scenarios: NBO or Control. RESULTS: Lesion volume sizes 'during NBO therapy' predicted by Control-models were significantly larger (P = 0.007) than those predicted by NBO models, suggesting that ischemic lesion growth is attenuated during NBO treatment. No significant difference was found between the predicted lesion volumes at later time-points. NBO-treated patients, despite showing larger lesion volumes on Control-models than NBO-models, tended to have reduced lesion growth. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that NBO has therapeutic potential in acute ischemic stroke, and demonstrates the feasibility of using MRI-based algorithms to evaluate novel treatments in early-phase clinical trials.
    Deipolyi AR, Wu O, Macklin EA, Schaefer PW, Schwamm LH, Gilberto Gonzalez R, Copen WA. Reliability of cerebral blood volume maps as a substitute for diffusion-weighted imaging in acute ischemic stroke. J Magn Reson Imaging 2012;36(5):1083-7.Abstract
    PURPOSE: To assess the reliability of cerebral blood volume (CBV) maps as a substitute for diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) in acute ischemic stroke. In acute stroke, DWI is often used to identify irreversibly injured "core" tissue. Some propose using perfusion imaging, specifically CBV maps, in place of DWI. We examined whether CBV maps can reliably subsitute for DWI, and assessed the effect of scan duration on calculated CBV. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively identified 58 patients who underwent DWI and MR perfusion imaging within 12 h of stroke onset. CBV in each DWI lesion's center was divided by CBV in the normal-appearing contralateral hemisphere to yield relative regional CBV (rrCBV). The proportion of lesions with decreased rrCBV was calculated. After using the full scan duration (110 s after contrast injection), rrCBV was recalculated using simulated shorter scans. The effect of scan duration on rrCBV was tested with linear regression. RESULTS: Using the full scan duration (110 s), rrCBV was increased in most DWI lesions (62%; 95% confidence interval, 48-74%). rrCBV increased with increasing scan duration (P < 0.001). Even with the shortest duration (39.5 s) rrCBV was increased in 33% of lesions. CONCLUSION: Because DWI lesions may have elevated or decreased CBV, CBV maps cannot reliably substitute for DWI in identifying the infarct core.
    Arkink EB, Bleeker EJW, Schmitz N, Schoonman GG, Wu O, Ferrari MD, van Buchem MA, van Osch MJ, Kruit MC. Cerebral perfusion changes in migraineurs: a voxelwise comparison of interictal dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI measurements. Cephalalgia 2012;32(4):279-88.Abstract
    INTRODUCTION: The increased risk of cerebro- and cardiovascular disease in migraineurs may be the consequence of a systemic condition affecting whole body vasculature. At cerebrovascular level, this may be reflected by interictal global or regional cerebral perfusion abnormalities. Whether focal perfusion changes occur during interictal migraine has not been convincingly demonstrated. METHODS: We measured brain perfusion with dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging (DSC-MRI) in 29 interictal female migraineurs (12 migraine with aura (MA), 17 migraine without aura (MO)), and 16 female controls. Perfusion maps were compared between these groups with a voxelwise (p < 0.001, uncorrected, minimum cluster size 20 voxels) and a region-of-interest approach. RESULTS: In whole brain voxelwise analyses interictal hyperperfusion was observed in the left medial frontal gyrus in migraineurs and in the inferior and middle temporal gyrus in MO patients, in comparison with controls. Hypoperfusion was seen in the postcentral gyrus and in the inferior temporal gyrus in MA patients and in the inferior frontal gyrus in MO patients. Additional focal sites of hyperperfusion were noted in subgroups based on attack frequency and disease history. Region-of-interest analyses of the pons, hypothalamus, occipital lobe, and cerebellum did not show interictal perfusion differences between migraineurs and controls. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that interictal migraine is characterized by discrete areas of hyper- and hypoperfusion unspecific for migraine pathophysiology and not explaining the increased vulnerability of particular brain regions for cerebrovascular damage.
    Copen WA, Schaefer PW, Wu O. MR perfusion imaging in acute ischemic stroke. Neuroimaging Clin N Am 2011;21(2):259-83, x.Abstract
    Magnetic resonance (MR) perfusion imaging offers the potential for measuring brain perfusion in acute stroke patients, at a time when treatment decisions based on these measurements may affect outcomes dramatically. Rapid advancements in both acute stroke therapy and perfusion imaging techniques have resulted in continuing redefinition of the role that perfusion imaging should play in patient management. This review discusses the basic pathophysiology of acute stroke, the utility of different kinds of perfusion images, and research on the continually evolving role of MR perfusion imaging in acute stroke care.
    Kwong KK, Wu O, Chan S-T, Nelissen K, Kholodov M, Chesler DA. Early time points perfusion imaging: relative time of arrival, maximum derivatives and fractional derivatives. Neuroimage 2011;57(3):979-90.Abstract
    Time of arrival (TOA) of a bolus of contrast agent to the tissue voxel is a reference time point critical for the Early Time Points Perfusion Imaging Method (ET) to make relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) maps. Due to the low contrast to noise (CNR) condition at TOA, other useful reference time points known as relative time of arrival data points (rTOA) are investigated. Candidate rTOA's include the time to reach the maximum derivative, the maximum second derivative, and the maximum fractional derivative. Each rTOA retains the same relative time distance from TOA for all tissue flow levels provided that ET's basic assumption is met, namely, no contrast agent has a chance to leave the tissue before the time of rTOA. The ET's framework insures that rCBF estimates by different orders of the derivative are theoretically equivalent to each other and monkey perfusion imaging results supported the theory. In rCBF estimation, maximum values of higher order fractional derivatives may be used to replace the maximum derivative which runs a higher risk of violating ET's assumption. Using the maximum values of the derivative of orders ranging from 1 to 1.5 to 2, estimated rCBF results were found to demonstrate a gray-white matter ratio of approximately 3, a number consistent with flow ratio reported in the literature.
    Kwong KK, Reese TG, Nelissen K, Wu O, Chan S-T, Benner T, Mandeville JB, Foley M, Vanduffel W, Chesler DA. Early time points perfusion imaging. Neuroimage 2011;54(2):1070-82.Abstract
    The aim was to investigate the feasibility of making relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) maps from MR images acquired with short TR by measuring the initial arrival amount of Gd-DTPA evaluated within a time window before any contrast agent has a chance to leave the tissue. We named this rCBF measurement technique utilizing the early data points of the Gd-DTPA bolus the "early time points" method (ET), based on the hypothesis that early time point signals were proportional to rCBF. Simulation data were used successfully to examine the ideal behavior of ET while monkey's MRI results offered encouraging support to the utility of ET for rCBF calculation. A better brain coverage for ET could be obtained by applying the Simultaneous Echo Refocusing (SER) EPI technique. A recipe to run ET was presented, with attention paid to the noise problem around the time of arrival (TOA) of the contrast agent.
    Emmer BJ, van Osch MJ, Wu O, Steup-Beekman GM, Steens SC, Huizinga TW, van Buchem MA, van der Grond J. Perfusion MRI in neuro-psychiatric systemic lupus erthemathosus. J Magn Reson Imaging 2010;32(2):283-8.Abstract
    PURPOSE: To use perfusion weighted MR to quantify any perfusion abnormalities and to determine their contribution to neuropsychiatric (NP) involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We applied dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion MRI in 15 active NPSLE, 26 inactive NPSLE patients, and 11 control subjects. Cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral blood volume (CBV), and mean transit time (MTT) maps were reconstructed and regions of interest were compared between groups. In addition, the effect of SLE criteria, NPSLE syndromes, immunological coagulation disorder, and medication on CBF, CBV, and MTT was investigated. RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the groups in CBF, CBV, and MTT. No significant influence of SLE criteria or NPSLE syndromes on CBF, CBV, or MTT was found. No significant influence of anti-cardiolipin antibodies, lupus anti-coagulant, the presence of anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), or medication on CBF, CBV, or MTT was found. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest CBF, CBV, and MTT in the white and the gray matter in SLE patients is not significantly different from healthy controls or between patients with and without specific symptoms or with and without immunological disorder involving coagulation.
    Christensen S, Mouridsen K, Wu O, Hjort N, Karstoft H, Thomalla G, Röther J, Fiehler J, Kucinski T, Østergaard L. Comparison of 10 perfusion MRI parameters in 97 sub-6-hour stroke patients using voxel-based receiver operating characteristics analysis. Stroke 2009;40(6):2055-61.Abstract
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Perfusion-weighted imaging can predict infarct growth in acute stroke and potentially be used to select patients with tissue at risk for reperfusion therapies. However, the lack of consensus and evidence on how to best create PWI maps that reflect tissue at risk challenges comparisons of results and acute decision-making in trials. Deconvolution using an arterial input function has been hypothesized to generate maps of a more quantitative nature and with better prognostic value than simpler summary measures such as time-to-peak or the first moment of the concentration time curve. We sought to compare 10 different perfusion parameters by their ability to predict tissue infarction in acute ischemic stroke. METHODS: In a retrospective analysis of 97 patients with acute stroke studied within 6 hours from symptom onset, we used receiver operating characteristics in a voxel-based analysis to compare 10 perfusion parameters: time-to-peak, first moment, cerebral blood volume and flow, and 6 variants of time to peak of the residue function and mean transit time maps. Subanalysis assessed the effect of reperfusion on outcome prediction. RESULTS: The most predictive maps were the summary measures first moment and time-to-peak. First moment was significantly more predictive than time to peak of the residue function and local arterial input function-based methods (P<0.05), but not significantly better than conventional mean transit time maps. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that if a single map type was to be used to predict infarction, first moment maps performed at least as well as deconvolved measures. Deconvolution decouples delay from tissue perfusion; we speculate this negatively impacts infarct prediction.
    Christensen S, Calamante F, Hjort N, Wu O, Blankholm AD, Desmond P, Davis S, Ostergaard L. Inferring origin of vascular supply from tracer arrival timing patterns using bolus tracking MRI. J Magn Reson Imaging 2008;27(6):1371-81.Abstract
    PURPOSE: To investigate the potential of novel postprocessing and visualization techniques to distinguish presence of collateral flow using Bolus Tracking MRI. Collateral blood supply is believed to be of paramount importance in acute stroke, yet clinical evaluation is challenging as the gold standard digital subtraction angiography is often not feasible in the acute scenario. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In principle, bolus arrival delay data contains information about the route of blood supply into tissue and hereby presence of collateral flow patterns. We first examined the potential of current clinical bolus tracking protocols to accurately characterize bolus arrival delay. Using the simulation results, we analyzed bolus tracking data from one normal volunteer and one acute stroke patient. RESULTS: The bolus arrival patterns in the volunteer and in the normal hemisphere of the patient were found to be qualitatively similar and in good agreement with physiology. The bolus was seen to spread from the larger arteries toward the periphery. The stroke hemisphere in the patient indicated a retrograde direction of flow on the cortical mantle consistent with leptomeningeal vessels. CONCLUSION: Bolus tracking MRI can likely be used to distinguish collateral flow patterns from normal flow patterns.
    Wu O, Sumii T, Asahi M, Sasamata M, Ostergaard L, Rosen BR, Lo EH, Dijkhuizen RM. Infarct prediction and treatment assessment with MRI-based algorithms in experimental stroke models. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2007;27(1):196-204.Abstract
    There is increasing interest in using algorithms combining multiple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modalities to predict tissue infarction in acute human stroke. We developed and tested a voxel-based generalized linear model (GLM) algorithm to predict tissue infarction in an animal stroke model in order to directly compare predicted outcome with the tissue's histologic outcome, and to evaluate the potential for assessing therapeutic efficacy using these multiparametric algorithms. With acute MRI acquired after unilateral embolic stroke in rats (n=8), a GLM was developed and used to predict infarction on a voxel-wise basis for saline (n=6) and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) treatment (n=7) arms of a trial of delayed thrombolytic therapy in rats. Pretreatment predicted outcome compared with post-treatment histology was highly accurate in saline-treated rats (0.92+/-0.05). Accuracy was significantly reduced (P=0.04) in rt-PA-treated animals (0.86+/-0.08), although no significant difference was detected when comparing histologic lesion volumes. Animals that reperfused had significantly lower (P<0.01) GLM-predicted infarction risk (0.73+/-0.03) than nonreperfused animals (0.81+/-0.05), possibly reflecting less severe initial ischemic injury and therefore tissue likely more amenable to therapy. Our results show that acute MRI-based algorithms can predict tissue infarction with high accuracy in animals not receiving thrombolytic therapy. Furthermore, alterations in disease progression due to treatment were more sensitively monitored with our voxel-based analysis techniques than with volumetric approaches. Our study shows that predictive algorithms are promising metrics for diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic evaluation after acute stroke that can translate readily from preclinical to clinical settings.
    Wu O, Christensen S, Hjort N, Dijkhuizen RM, Kucinski T, Fiehler J, Thomalla G, Röther J, Østergaard L. Characterizing physiological heterogeneity of infarction risk in acute human ischaemic stroke using MRI. Brain 2006;129(Pt 9):2384-93.Abstract
    Viable tissues at risk of infarction in acute stroke patients have been hypothesized to be detectable as volumetric mismatches between lesions on perfusion-weighted (PWI) and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI). Because tissue response to ischaemic injury and to therapeutic intervention is tissue- and patient-dependent, changes in infarct progression due to treatment may be better detected with voxel-based methods than with volumetric mismatches. Acute DWI and PWI were combined using a generalized linear model (GLM) to predict infarction risk on a voxel-wise basis for patients treated either with non-thrombolytic (Group 1; n = 11) or with thrombolytic therapy (Group 2; n = 27). Predicted infarction risk for both groups was evaluated in four ipsilateral regions of interest: tissue acutely abnormal on DWI (Core), tissue acutely abnormal on PWI but normal on DWI that either infarcts (Recruited) or does not (Salvaged), and tissue normal on both DWI and PWI that does not infarct (Normal) by follow-up imaging > or = 5 days. The performance of the models was significantly reduced for the thrombolysed group compared with the group receiving standard treatment, suggesting an alteration in natural progression of the ischaemic cascade. Average GLM-predicted infarction risk values in the four regions were different from one another for both groups. GLM-predicted infarction risk in Salvaged tissue was significantly higher (P = 0.02) for thrombolysed patients than for non-thrombolysed patients, suggesting that thrombolysis rescued tissue with higher infarction risk than typically measured in tissue that spontaneously recovered. The observed spatial heterogeneity of GLM-predicted infarction risk values probably reflects the varying degrees of tissue injury and salvageability that exist after stroke. MRI-based algorithms may therefore provide a more sensitive means for monitoring therapeutic effects on a voxel-wise basis.
    Gottrup C, Thomsen K, Locht P, Wu O, Sorensen GA, Koroshetz WJ, Østergaard L. Applying instance-based techniques to prediction of final outcome in acute stroke. Artif Intell Med 2005;33(3):223-36.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: Acute cerebral stroke is a frequent cause of death and the major cause of adult neurological disability in the western world. Thrombolysis is the only established treatment of ischemic stroke; however, its use carries a substantial risk of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. A clinical tool to guide the use of thrombolysis would be very valuable. One of the major goals of such a tool would be the identification of potentially salvageable tissue. This requires an accurate prediction of the extent of infarction if untreated. In this study, we investigate the applicability of highly flexible instance-based (IB) methods for such predictions. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Based on information obtained from magnetic resonance imaging of 14 patients with acute stroke, we explored three different implementations of the IB method: k-NN, Gaussian weighted, and constant radius search classification. Receiver operating characteristics analysis, in particular area under the curve (AUC), was used as performance measure. RESULTS: We found no significant difference (P = 0.48) in performance for the optimal k-NN (k = 164, AUC = 0.814 +/- 0.001) and Gaussian weight (sigma = 0.17, AUC = 0.813 +/- 0.001) implementations, while they were both significantly better (P < 1 x 10(-6) for both) than the constant radius implementation (R = 0.28, AUC = 0.809 +/- 0.001). Qualitative analyses of the distribution of instances in the feature space indicated that non-infarcted instances tends to cluster together while infarcted instances are more dispersed, and that there may not exist a stringent boundary separating infarcted from non-infarcted instances. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that IB methods can be used, and may be advantageous, for predicting final infarct in patients with acute stroke, but further work must be done to make them clinically applicable.
    Wu O, Ostergaard L, Sorensen GA. Technical aspects of perfusion-weighted imaging. Neuroimaging Clin N Am 2005;15(3):623-37, xi.Abstract
    There is increasing interest in using diffusion-weighted (DWI) MR imaging and perfusion-weighted MR imaging (PWI) to assist clinical decision-making in the management of acute stroke patients. Larger PWI than DWI lesions have been speculated to represent potentially salvageable tissue that is at risk of infarction unless nutritive flow is restored and presence of these mismatches have been proposed as inclusion criteria for identifying patients most likely to benefit from therapeutic intervention. Understanding the technical aspects of PWI may improve comprehension of the capabilities and limitations of this technique.
    Wu O, Østergaard L, Koroshetz WJ, Schwamm LH, O'Donnell J, Schaefer PW, Rosen BR, Weisskoff RM, Sorensen GA. Effects of tracer arrival time on flow estimates in MR perfusion-weighted imaging. Magn Reson Med 2003;50(4):856-64.Abstract
    A common technique for calculating cerebral blood flow (CBF) and mean transit time (MTT) is to track a bolus of contrast agent using perfusion-weighted MRI (PWI) and to deconvolve the change in concentration with an arterial input function (AIF) using singular value decomposition (SVD). This method has been shown to often overestimate the volume of tissue that infarcts and in cases of severe vasculopathy to produce CBF maps that are inconsistent with clinical presentation. This study examines the effects of tracer arrival time differences between tissue and a user-selected global AIF on flow estimates. CBF and MTT were calculated in both numerically simulated and clinically acquired PWI data where the AIF and tissue signals were shifted backward and forward in time with respect to one another. Results show that when the AIF leads the tissue, CBF is underestimated independent of extent of delay, but dependent on MTT. When the AIF lags the tissue, flow may be over- or underestimated depending on MTT and extent of timing differences. These conditions may occur in practice due to the application of a user-selected AIF that is not the "true AIF" and therefore caution must be taken in interpreting CBF and MTT estimates.