Publications

    Etherton MR, Wu O, Giese A-K, Lauer A, Boulouis G, Mills B, Cloonan L, Donahue KL, Copen W, Schaefer P, Rost NS. White Matter Integrity and Early Outcomes After Acute Ischemic Stroke. Transl Stroke Res 2019;10(6):630-638.Abstract
    Chronic white matter structural injury is a risk factor for poor long-term outcomes after acute ischemic stroke (AIS). However, it is unclear how white matter structural injury predisposes to poor outcomes after AIS. To explore this question, in 42 AIS patients with moderate to severe white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden, we characterized WMH and normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) diffusivity anisotropy metrics in the hemisphere contralateral to acute ischemia in relation to ischemic tissue and early functional outcomes. All patients underwent brain MRI with dynamic susceptibility contrast perfusion and diffusion tensor imaging within 12 h and at day 3-5 post stroke. Early neurological outcomes were measured as the change in NIH Stroke Scale score from admission to day 3-5 post stroke. Target mismatch profile, percent mismatch lost, infarct growth, and rates of good perfusion were measured to assess ischemic tissue outcomes. NAWM mean diffusivity was significantly lower in the group with early neurological improvement (ENI, 0.79 vs. 0.82 × 10, mm/s; P = 0.02). In multivariable logistic regression, NAWM mean diffusivity was an independent radiographic predictor of ENI (β = - 17.6, P = 0.037). Median infarct growth was 118% (IQR 26.8-221.9%) despite good reperfusion being observed in 65.6% of the cohort. NAWM and WMH diffusivity metrics were not associated with target mismatch profile, percent mismatch lost, or infarct growth. Our results suggest that, in AIS patients, white matter structural integrity is associated with poor early neurological outcomes independent of ischemic tissue outcomes.
    Schirmer MD, Giese A-K, Fotiadis P, Etherton MR, Cloonan L, Viswanathan A, Greenberg SM, Wu O, Rost NS. Spatial Signature of White Matter Hyperintensities in Stroke Patients. Front Neurol 2019;10:208.Abstract
    White matter hyperintensity (WMH) is a common phenotype across a variety of neurological diseases, particularly prevalent in stroke patients; however, vascular territory dependent variation in WMH burden has not yet been identified. Here, we sought to investigate the spatial specificity of WMH burden in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). We created a novel age-appropriate high-resolution brain template and anatomically delineated the cerebral vascular territories. We used WMH masks derived from the clinical T2 Fluid Attenuated Inverse Recovery (FLAIR) MRI scans and spatial normalization of the template to discriminate between WMH volume within each subject's anterior cerebral artery (ACA), middle cerebral artery (MCA), and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) territories. Linear regression modeling including age, sex, common vascular risk factors, and TOAST stroke subtypes was used to assess for spatial specificity of WMH volume (WMHv) in a cohort of 882 AIS patients. Mean age of this cohort was 65.23 ± 14.79 years, 61.7% were male, 63.6% were hypertensive, 35.8% never smoked. Mean WMHv was 11.58c ± 13.49 cc. There were significant differences in territory-specific, relative to global, WMH burden. In contrast to PCA territory, age (0.018 ± 0.002, < 0.001) and small-vessel stroke subtype (0.212 ± 0.098, < 0.001) were associated with relative increase of WMH burden within the anterior (ACA and MCA) territories, whereas male sex (-0.275 ± 0.067, < 0.001) was associated with a relative decrease in WMHv. Our data establish the spatial specificity of WMH distribution in relation to vascular territory and risk factor exposure in AIS patients and offer new insights into the underlying pathology.
    Schirmer MD, Dalca AV, Sridharan R, Giese A-K, Donahue KL, Nardin MJ, Mocking SJT, McIntosh EC, Frid P, Wasselius J, Cole JW, Holmegaard L, Jern C, Jimenez-Conde J, Lemmens R, Lindgren AG, Meschia JF, Roquer J, Rundek T, Sacco RL, Schmidt R, Sharma P, Slowik A, Thijs V, Woo D, Vagal A, Xu H, Kittner SJ, McArdle PF, Mitchell BD, Rosand J, Worrall BB, Wu O, Golland P, Rost NS. White matter hyperintensity quantification in large-scale clinical acute ischemic stroke cohorts - The MRI-GENIE study. Neuroimage Clin 2019;23:101884.Abstract
    White matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden is a critically important cerebrovascular phenotype linked to prediction of diagnosis and prognosis of diseases, such as acute ischemic stroke (AIS). However, current approaches to its quantification on clinical MRI often rely on time intensive manual delineation of the disease on T2 fluid attenuated inverse recovery (FLAIR), which hinders high-throughput analyses such as genetic discovery. In this work, we present a fully automated pipeline for quantification of WMH in clinical large-scale studies of AIS. The pipeline incorporates automated brain extraction, intensity normalization and WMH segmentation using spatial priors. We first propose a brain extraction algorithm based on a fully convolutional deep learning architecture, specifically designed for clinical FLAIR images. We demonstrate that our method for brain extraction outperforms two commonly used and publicly available methods on clinical quality images in a set of 144 subject scans across 12 acquisition centers, based on dice coefficient (median 0.95; inter-quartile range 0.94-0.95; p < 0.01) and Pearson correlation of total brain volume (r = 0.90). Subsequently, we apply it to the large-scale clinical multi-site MRI-GENIE study (N = 2783) and identify a decrease in total brain volume of -2.4 cc/year. Additionally, we show that the resulting total brain volumes can successfully be used for quality control of image preprocessing. Finally, we obtain WMH volumes by building on an existing automatic WMH segmentation algorithm that delineates and distinguishes between different cerebrovascular pathologies. The learning method mimics expert knowledge of the spatial distribution of the WMH burden using a convolutional auto-encoder. This enables successful computation of WMH volumes of 2533 clinical AIS patients. We utilize these results to demonstrate the increase of WMH burden with age (0.950 cc/year) and show that single site estimates can be biased by the number of subjects recruited.
    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.
    Joutsa J, Shih LC, Horn A, Reich MM, Wu O, Rost NS, Fox MD. Identifying therapeutic targets from spontaneous beneficial brain lesions. Ann Neurol 2018;84(1):153-157.Abstract
    Brain damage can occasionally result in paradoxical functional benefit, which could help identify therapeutic targets for neuromodulation. However, these beneficial lesions are rare and lesions in multiple different brain locations can improve the same symptom. Using a technique called lesion network mapping, we show that heterogeneous lesion locations resulting in tremor relief are all connected to common nodes in the cerebellum and thalamus, the latter of which is a proven deep brain stimulation target for tremor. These results suggest that lesion network mapping can identify the common substrate underlying therapeutic lesions and effective therapeutic targets. Ann Neurol 2018;83:153-157.
    Schwamm LH, Wu O, Song SS, Latour LL, Ford AL, Hsia AW, Muzikansky A, Betensky RA, Yoo AJ, Lev MH, Boulouis G, Lauer A, Cougo P, Copen WA, Harris GJ, Warach S. Intravenous thrombolysis in unwitnessed stroke onset: MR WITNESS trial results. Ann Neurol 2018;83(5):980-993.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: Most acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with unwitnessed symptom onset are ineligible for intravenous thrombolysis due to timing alone. Lesion evolution on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlates with stroke duration, and quantitative mismatch of diffusion-weighted MRI with FLAIR (qDFM) might indicate stroke duration within guideline-recommended thrombolysis. We tested whether intravenous thrombolysis ≤4.5 hours from the time of symptom discovery is safe in patients with qDFM in an open-label, phase 2a, prospective study (NCT01282242). METHODS: Patients aged 18 to 85 years with AIS of unwitnessed onset at 4.5 to 24 hours since they were last known to be well, treatable within 4.5 hours of symptom discovery with intravenous alteplase (0.9mg/kg), and presenting with qDFM were screened across 14 hospitals. The primary outcome was the risk of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) with preplanned stopping rules. Secondary outcomes included symptomatic brain edema risk, and functional outcomes of 90-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS). RESULTS: Eighty subjects were enrolled between January 31, 2011 and October 4, 2015 and treated with alteplase at median 11.2 hours (IQR = 9.5-13.3) from when they were last known to be well. There was 1 sICH (1.3%) and 3 cases of symptomatic edema (3.8%). At 90 days, 39% of subjects achieved mRS = 0-1, as did 48% of subjects who had vessel imaging and were without large vessel occlusions. INTERPRETATION: Intravenous thrombolysis within 4.5 hours of symptom discovery in patients with unwitnessed stroke selected by qDFM, who are beyond the recommended time windows, is safe. A randomized trial testing efficacy using qDFM appears feasible and is warranted in patients without large vessel occlusions. Ann Neurol 2018;83:980-993.
    Threlkeld ZD, Bodien YG, Rosenthal ES, Giacino JT, Nieto-Castanon A, Wu O, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Edlow BL. Functional networks reemerge during recovery of consciousness after acute severe traumatic brain injury. Cortex 2018;106:299-308.Abstract
    Integrity of the default mode network (DMN) is believed to be essential for human consciousness. However, the effects of acute severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) on DMN functional connectivity are poorly understood. Furthermore, the temporal dynamics of DMN reemergence during recovery of consciousness have not been studied longitudinally in patients with acute severe TBI. We performed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to measure DMN connectivity in 17 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with acute severe TBI and in 16 healthy control subjects. Eight patients returned for follow-up rs-fMRI and behavioral assessment six months post-injury. At each time point, we analyzed DMN connectivity by measuring intra-network correlations (i.e. positive correlations between DMN nodes) and inter-network anticorrelations (i.e. negative correlations between the DMN and other resting-state networks). All patients were comatose upon arrival to the ICU and had a disorder of consciousness (DoC) at the time of acute rs-fMRI (9.2 ± 4.6 days post-injury): 2 coma, 4 unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, 7 minimally conscious state, and 4 post-traumatic confusional state. We found that, while DMN anticorrelations were absent in patients with acute DoC, patients who recovered from coma to a minimally conscious or confusional state while in the ICU showed partially preserved DMN correlations. Patients who remained in coma or unresponsive wakefulness syndrome in the ICU showed no DMN correlations. All eight patients assessed longitudinally recovered beyond the confusional state by 6 months post-injury and showed normal DMN correlations and anticorrelations, indistinguishable from those of healthy subjects. Collectively, these findings suggest that recovery of consciousness after acute severe TBI is associated with partial preservation of DMN correlations in the ICU, followed by long-term normalization of DMN correlations and anticorrelations. Both intra-network DMN correlations and inter-network DMN anticorrelations may be necessary for full recovery of consciousness after acute severe TBI.
    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.
    Etherton MR, Barreto AD, Schwamm LH, Wu O. Neuroimaging Paradigms to Identify Patients for Reperfusion Therapy in Stroke of Unknown Onset. Front Neurol 2018;9:327.Abstract
    Despite the proven efficacy of intravenous alteplase or endovascular thrombectomy for the treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke, only a minority receive these treatments. This low treatment rate is due in large part to delay in hospital arrival or uncertainty as to the exact time of onset of ischemic stroke, which renders patients outside the current guideline-recommended window of eligibility for receiving these therapeutics. However, recent pivotal clinical trials of late-window thrombectomy now force us to rethink the value of a simplistic chronological formulation that "time is brain." We must recognize a more nuanced concept that the rate of tissue death as a function of time is not invariant, that still salvageable tissue at risk of infarction may be present up to 24 h after last-known well, and that those patients may strongly benefit from reperfusion. Multiple studies have sought to address this clinical dilemma using neuroimaging methods to identify a radiographic time-stamp of stroke onset or evidence of salvageable ischemic tissue and thereby increase the number of patients eligible for reperfusion therapies. In this review, we provide a critical analysis of the current state of neuroimaging techniques to select patients with unwitnessed stroke for revascularization therapies and speculate on the future direction of this clinically relevant area of stroke research.
    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.
    Donahue MJ, Achten E, Cogswell PM, De Leeuw F-E, Derdeyn CP, Dijkhuizen RM, Fan AP, Ghaznawi R, Heit JJ, Ikram AM, Jezzard P, Jordan LC, Jouvent E, Knutsson L, Leigh R, Liebeskind DS, Lin W, Okell TW, Qureshi AI, Stagg CJ, van Osch MJ, van Zijl PC, Watchmaker JM, Wintermark M, Wu O, Zaharchuk G, Zhou J, Hendrikse J. Consensus statement on current and emerging methods for the diagnosis and evaluation of cerebrovascular disease. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2018;38(9):1391-1417.Abstract
    Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in most developed countries. This work summarizes state-of-the-art, and possible future, diagnostic and evaluation approaches in multiple stages of CVD, including (i) visualization of sub-clinical disease processes, (ii) acute stroke theranostics, and (iii) characterization of post-stroke recovery mechanisms. Underlying pathophysiology as it relates to large vessel steno-occlusive disease and the impact of this macrovascular disease on tissue-level viability, hemodynamics (cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and mean transit time), and metabolism (cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption and pH) are also discussed in the context of emerging neuroimaging protocols with sensitivity to these factors. The overall purpose is to highlight advancements in stroke care and diagnostics and to provide a general overview of emerging research topics that have potential for reducing morbidity in multiple areas of CVD.
    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.
    Edlow BL, Keene DC, Perl DP, Iacono D, Folkerth RD, Stewart W, MacDonald CL, Augustinack J, Diaz-Arrastia R, Estrada C, Flannery E, Gordon WA, Grabowski TJ, Hansen K, Hoffman J, Kroenke C, Larson EB, Lee P, Mareyam A, McNab JA, McPhee J, Moreau AL, Renz A, Richmire KR, Stevens A, Tang CY, Tirrell LS, Trittschuh EH, van der Kouwe A, Varjabedian A, Wald LL, Wu O, Yendiki A, Young L, Zöllei L, Fischl B, Crane PK, Dams-O'Connor K. Multimodal Characterization of the Late Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury: A Methodological Overview of the Late Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury Project. J Neurotrauma 2018;35(14):1604-1619.Abstract
    Epidemiological studies suggest that a single moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Histopathological studies describe complex neurodegenerative pathologies in individuals exposed to single moderate-to-severe TBI or repetitive mild TBI, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). However, the clinicopathological links between TBI and post-traumatic neurodegenerative diseases such as AD, PD, and CTE remain poorly understood. Here, we describe the methodology of the Late Effects of TBI (LETBI) study, whose goals are to characterize chronic post-traumatic neuropathology and to identify in vivo biomarkers of post-traumatic neurodegeneration. LETBI participants undergo extensive clinical evaluation using National Institutes of Health TBI Common Data Elements, proteomic and genomic analysis, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and prospective consent for brain donation. Selected brain specimens undergo ultra-high resolution ex vivo MRI and histopathological evaluation including whole-mount analysis. Co-registration of ex vivo and in vivo MRI data enables identification of ex vivo lesions that were present during life. In vivo signatures of postmortem pathology are then correlated with cognitive and behavioral data to characterize the clinical phenotype(s) associated with pathological brain lesions. We illustrate the study methods and demonstrate proof of concept for this approach by reporting results from the first LETBI participant, who despite the presence of multiple in vivo and ex vivo pathoanatomic lesions had normal cognition and was functionally independent until her mid-80s. The LETBI project represents a multidisciplinary effort to characterize post-traumatic neuropathology and identify in vivo signatures of postmortem pathology in a prospective study.
    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.
    Greer DM, Wu O. Neuroimaging in Cardiac Arrest Prognostication. Semin Neurol 2017;37(1):66-74.Abstract
    Neuroimaging is commonly utilized in the evaluation of post-cardiac arrest patients, providing a unique ability to visualize and quantify structural brain injury that can complement clinical and electrophysiologic data. Despite its lack of validation, we would advocate that neuroimaging is a valuable prognostication tool, worthy of further study, and an essential part of the armamentarium when used in combination with other modalities in the assessment of the post-cardiac arrest patient. Herein, we discuss the data and its limitations for neuroimaging to date and how it is being studied prospectively. We present current guidelines recommendations for prognostication after global hypoxic-ischemic injury, focusing primarily on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as they are the most widely used modalities. We present promising results from advanced neuroimaging techniques, and provide practical advice for the clinician caring for these patients in the real world.
    Giese A-K, Schirmer MD, Donahue KL, Cloonan L, Irie R, Winzeck S, Bouts MJRJ, McIntosh EC, Mocking SJ, Dalca AV, Sridharan R, Xu H, Frid P, Giralt-Steinhauer E, Holmegaard L, Roquer J, Wasselius J, Cole JW, McArdle PF, Broderick JP, Jimenez-Conde J, Jern C, Kissela BM, Kleindorfer DO, Lemmens R, Lindgren A, 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, Wu O, Rost NS. Design and rationale for examining neuroimaging genetics in ischemic stroke: The MRI-GENIE study. Neurol Genet 2017;3(5):e180.Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: To describe the design and rationale for the genetic analysis of acute and chronic cerebrovascular neuroimaging phenotypes detected on clinical MRI in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) within the scope of the MRI-GENetics Interface Exploration (MRI-GENIE) study. METHODS: MRI-GENIE capitalizes on the existing infrastructure of the Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN). In total, 12 international SiGN sites contributed MRIs of 3,301 patients with AIS. Detailed clinical phenotyping with the web-based Causative Classification of Stroke (CCS) system and genome-wide genotyping data were available for all participants. Neuroimaging analyses include the manual and automated assessments of established MRI markers. A high-throughput MRI analysis pipeline for the automated assessment of cerebrovascular lesions on clinical scans will be developed in a subset of scans for both acute and chronic lesions, validated against gold standard, and applied to all available scans. The extracted neuroimaging phenotypes will improve characterization of acute and chronic cerebrovascular lesions in ischemic stroke, including CCS subtypes, and their effect on functional outcomes after stroke. Moreover, genetic testing will uncover variants associated with acute and chronic MRI manifestations of cerebrovascular disease. CONCLUSIONS: The MRI-GENIE study aims to develop, validate, and distribute the MRI analysis platform for scans acquired as part of clinical care for patients with AIS, which will lead to (1) novel genetic discoveries in ischemic stroke, (2) strategies for personalized stroke risk assessment, and (3) personalized stroke outcome assessment.
    Izzy S, Mazwi NL, Martinez S, Spencer CA, Klein JP, Parikh G, Glenn MB, Greenberg SM, Greer DM, Wu O, Edlow BL. Revisiting Grade 3 Diffuse Axonal Injury: Not All Brainstem Microbleeds are Prognostically Equal. Neurocrit Care 2017;27(2):199-207.Abstract
    BACKGROUND: Recovery of functional independence is possible in patients with brainstem traumatic axonal injury (TAI), also referred to as "grade 3 diffuse axonal injury," but acute prognostic biomarkers are lacking. We hypothesized that the extent of dorsal brainstem TAI measured by burden of traumatic microbleeds (TMBs) correlates with 1-year functional outcome more strongly than does ventral brainstem, corpus callosal, or global brain TMB burden. Further, we hypothesized that TMBs within brainstem nuclei of the ascending arousal network (AAN) correlate with 1-year outcome. METHODS: Using a prospective outcome database of patients treated for moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital, we retrospectively identified 39 patients who underwent acute gradient-recalled echo (GRE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). TMBs were counted on the acute GRE scans globally and in the dorsal brainstem, ventral brainstem, and corpus callosum. TMBs were also mapped onto an atlas of AAN nuclei. The primary outcome was the disability rating scale (DRS) score at 1 year post-injury. Associations between regional TMBs, AAN TMB volume, and 1-year DRS score were assessed by calculating Spearman rank correlation coefficients. RESULTS: Mean ± SD number of TMBs was: dorsal brainstem = 0.7 ± 1.4, ventral brainstem = 0.2 ± 0.6, corpus callosum = 1.8 ± 2.8, and global = 14.4 ± 12.5. The mean ± SD TMB volume within AAN nuclei was 6.1 ± 18.7 mm3. Increased dorsal brainstem TMBs and larger AAN TMB volume correlated with worse 1-year outcomes (R = 0.37, p = 0.02, and R = 0.36, p = 0.02, respectively). Global, callosal, and ventral brainstem TMBs did not correlate with outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that dorsal brainstem TAI, especially involving AAN nuclei, may have greater prognostic utility than the total number of lesions in the brain or brainstem.
    Bouts MJRJ, Tiebosch IA, Rudrapatna US, van der Toorn A, Wu O, Dijkhuizen RM. Prediction of hemorrhagic transformation after experimental ischemic stroke using MRI-based algorithms. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2017;37(8):3065-3076.Abstract
    Estimation of hemorrhagic transformation (HT) risk is crucial for treatment decision-making after acute ischemic stroke. We aimed to determine the accuracy of multiparametric MRI-based predictive algorithms in calculating probability of HT after stroke. Spontaneously, hypertensive rats were subjected to embolic stroke and, after 3 h treated with tissue plasminogen activator (Group I: n = 6) or vehicle (Group II: n = 7). Brain MRI measurements of T2, T2*, diffusion, perfusion, and blood-brain barrier permeability were obtained at 2, 24, and 168 h post-stroke. Generalized linear model and random forest (RF) predictive algorithms were developed to calculate the probability of HT and infarction from acute MRI data. Validation against seven-day outcome on MRI and histology revealed that highest accuracy of hemorrhage prediction was achieved with a RF-based model that included spatial brain features (Group I: area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.85 ± 0.14; Group II: AUC = 0.89 ± 0.09), with significant improvement over perfusion- or permeability-based thresholding methods. However, overlap between predicted and actual tissue outcome was significantly lower for hemorrhage prediction models (maximum Dice's Similarity Index (DSI) = 0.20 ± 0.06) than for infarct prediction models (maximum DSI = 0.81 ± 0.06). Multiparametric MRI-based predictive algorithms enable early identification of post-ischemic tissue at risk of HT and may contribute to improved treatment decision-making after acute ischemic stroke.
    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.

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