OBJECTIVE: To build new algorithms for prognostication of comatose cardiac arrest patients using clinical examination, and investigate whether therapeutic hypothermia influences the value of the clinical examination.
METHODS: From 2000 to 2007, 500 consecutive patients in non-traumatic coma were prospectively enrolled, 200 of whom were post-cardiac arrest. Outcome was determined by modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 6 months, with mRS≤3 indicating good outcome. The clinical examination was performed on days 0, 1, 3 and 7 post-arrest, and clinical variables analyzed for importance in prognostication of outcome. A classification and regression tree analysis (CART) was used to develop a predictive algorithm.
RESULTS: Good outcome was achieved in 9.9% of patients. In CART analysis, motor response was often chosen as a root node, and spontaneous eye movements, pupillary reflexes, eye opening and corneal reflexes were often chosen as splitting nodes. Over 8% of patients with absent or extensor motor response on day 3 achieved a good outcome, as did 2 patients with myoclonic status epilepticus. The odds of achieving a good outcome were lower in patients who suffered asystole (OR 0.187, 95% CI: 0.039-0.875, p=0.033) compared with ventricular fibrillation or non-perfusing ventricular tachycardia, but some still achieved good outcome. The absence of pupillary and corneal reflexes on day 3 remained highly reliable for predicting poor outcome, regardless of therapeutic hypothermia utilization.
CONCLUSION: The clinical examination remains central to prognostication in comatose cardiac arrest patients in the modern area. Future studies should incorporate the clinical examination along with modern technology for accurate prognostication.
Traumatic coma is associated with disruption of axonal pathways throughout the brain, but the specific pathways involved in humans are incompletely understood. In this study, we used high angular resolution diffusion imaging to map the connectivity of axonal pathways that mediate the 2 critical components of consciousness-arousal and awareness-in the postmortem brain of a 62-year-old woman with acute traumatic coma and in 2 control brains. High angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography guided tissue sampling in the neuropathologic analysis. High angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography demonstrated complete disruption of white matter pathways connecting brainstem arousal nuclei to the basal forebrain and thalamic intralaminar and reticular nuclei. In contrast, hemispheric arousal pathways connecting the thalamus and basal forebrain to the cerebral cortex were only partially disrupted, as were the cortical "awareness pathways." Neuropathologic examination, which used β-amyloid precursor protein and fractin immunomarkers, revealed axonal injury in the white matter of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres that corresponded to sites of high angular resolution diffusion imaging tract disruption. Axonal injury was also present within the gray matter of the hypothalamus, thalamus, basal forebrain, and cerebral cortex. We propose that traumatic coma may be a subcortical disconnection syndrome related to the disconnection of specific brainstem arousal nuclei from the thalamus and basal forebrain.
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.
Advances in task-based functional MRI (fMRI), resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI), and arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion MRI have occurred at a rapid pace in recent years. These techniques for measuring brain function have great potential to improve the accuracy of prognostication for civilian and military patients with traumatic coma. In addition, fMRI, rs-fMRI, and ASL perfusion MRI have provided novel insights into the pathophysiology of traumatic disorders of consciousness, as well as the mechanisms of recovery from coma. However, functional neuroimaging techniques have yet to achieve widespread clinical use as prognostic tests for patients with traumatic coma. Rather, a broad spectrum of methodological hurdles currently limits the feasibility of clinical implementation. In this review, we discuss the basic principles of fMRI, rs-fMRI, and ASL perfusion MRI and their potential applications as prognostic tools for patients with traumatic coma. We also discuss future strategies for overcoming the current barriers to clinical implementation.
BACKGROUND: The role of neuroimaging in assessing prognosis in comatose cardiac survivors appears promising, but little is known regarding the import of particular spatial patterns. We report a specific spatial imaging abnormality on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that portends a poor prognosis: bilateral hippocampal hyperintensities on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences.
METHODS: Eighty sequential comatose cardiac arrest patients underwent MRI scans. Qualitative and quantitative regional analyses were performed. Patients were categorized as HIPPO(+) (n = 18) or HIPPO(-) (n = 62) based on whether they had bilateral hippocampal hyperintensities. Poor outcome was defined by a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score ≥4 at 6 months.
RESULTS: Patients with bilateral hippocampal abnormalities had a higher frequency of poor outcome (P = .032). HIPPO(+) patients suffered more severe cerebral injury, with lower whole brain apparent diffusion coefficient values (P = .043) and a greater number of affected regions on DWI (P = .001) and FLAIR (P = .001) than HIPPO(-) patients. The hippocampal approach was 100% specific for a poor prognosis; only 1 patient survived and remained in a vegetative state.
CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral hippocampal hyperintensities on MRI may be a specific imaging finding that is indicative of poor prognosis in patients who suffer global hypoxic-ischemic injury. More research on the prognostic significance of this and similar neuroimaging patterns is indicated.
PURPOSE: To assess the sensitivity and false positive rate (FPR) of neurological examination and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) to predict poor outcome in adult patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
METHODS: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for cohort studies describing the association of clinical neurological examination or SSEPs after return of spontaneous circulation with neurological outcome. Poor outcome was defined as severe disability, vegetative state and death. Sensitivity and FPR were determined.
RESULTS: A total of 1,153 patients from ten studies were included. The FPR of a bilaterally absent cortical N20 response of the SSEP could be calculated from nine studies including 492 patients. The SSEP had an FPR of 0.007 (confidence interval, CI, 0.001-0.047) to predict poor outcome. The Glasgow coma score (GCS) motor response was assessed in 811 patients from nine studies. A GCS motor score of 1-2 at 72 h had a high FPR of 0.21 (CI 0.08-0.43). Corneal reflex and pupillary reactivity at 72 h after the arrest were available in 429 and 566 patients, respectively. Bilaterally absent corneal reflexes had an FPR of 0.02 (CI 0.002-0.13). Bilaterally absent pupillary reflexes had an FPR of 0.004 (CI 0.001-0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: At 72 h after the arrest the motor response to painful stimuli and the corneal reflexes are not a reliable tool for the early prediction of poor outcome in patients treated with hypothermia. The reliability of the pupillary response to light and the SSEP is comparable to that in patients not treated with hypothermia.
We present an analysis framework for large studies of multimodal clinical quality brain image collections. Processing and analysis of such datasets is challenging due to low resolution, poor contrast, mis-aligned images, and restricted field of view. We adapt existing registration and segmentation methods and build a computational pipeline for spatial normalization and feature extraction. The resulting aligned dataset enables clinically meaningful analysis of spatial distributions of relevant anatomical features and of their evolution with age and disease progression. We demonstrate the approach on a neuroimaging study of stroke with more than 800 patients. We show that by combining data from several modalities, we can automatically segment important biomarkers such as white matter hyperintensity and characterize pathology evolution in this heterogeneous cohort. Specifically, we examine two sub-populations with different dynamics of white matter hyperintensity changes as a function of patients' age. Pipeline and analysis code is available at http://groups.csail.mit.edu/vision/medical-vision/stroke/.
In acute stroke magnetic resonance imaging, a 'mismatch' between visibility of an ischemic lesion on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and missing corresponding parenchymal hyperintensities on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) data sets was shown to identify patients with time from symptom onset ≤4.5 hours with high specificity. However, moderate sensitivity and suboptimal interpreter agreement are limitations of a visual rating of FLAIR lesion visibility. We tested refined image analysis methods in patients included in the previously published PREFLAIR study using refined visual analysis and quantitative measurements of relative FLAIR signal intensity (rSI) from a three-dimensional, segmented stroke lesion volume. A total of 399 patients were included. The rSI of FLAIR lesions showed a moderate correlation with time from symptom onset (r=0.382, P<0.001). A FLAIR rSI threshold of <1.0721 predicted symptom onset ≤4.5 hours with slightly increased specificity (0.85 versus 0.78) but also slightly decreased sensitivity (0.47 versus 0.58) as compared with visual analysis. Refined visual analysis differentiating between 'subtle' and 'obvious' FLAIR hyperintensities and classification and regression tree algorithms combining information from visual and quantitative analysis also did not improve diagnostic accuracy. Our results raise doubts whether the prediction of stroke onset time by visual image judgment can be improved by quantitative rSI measurements.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Meta-analyses of extant genome-wide data illustrate the need to focus on subtypes of ischemic stroke for gene discovery. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke SiGN (Stroke Genetics Network) contributes substantially to meta-analyses that focus on specific subtypes of stroke.
METHODS: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke SiGN includes ischemic stroke cases from 24 genetic research centers: 13 from the United States and 11 from Europe. Investigators harmonize ischemic stroke phenotyping using the Web-based causative classification of stroke system, with data entered by trained and certified adjudicators at participating genetic research centers. Through the Center for Inherited Diseases Research, the Network plans to genotype 10,296 carefully phenotyped stroke cases using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism arrays and adds to these another 4253 previously genotyped cases, for a total of 14,549 cases. To maximize power for subtype analyses, the study allocates genotyping resources almost exclusively to cases. Publicly available studies provide most of the control genotypes. Center for Inherited Diseases Research-generated genotypes and corresponding phenotypes will be shared with the scientific community through the US National Center for Biotechnology Information database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, and brain MRI studies will be centrally archived.
CONCLUSIONS: The Stroke Genetics Network, with its emphasis on careful and standardized phenotyping of ischemic stroke and stroke subtypes, provides an unprecedented opportunity to uncover genetic determinants of ischemic stroke.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The goal of the Stroke Treatment Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) meetings is to advance the development of stroke therapies. At STAIR VIII, consensus recommendations were developed for clinical trial strategies to demonstrate the benefit of endovascular reperfusion therapies for acute ischemic stroke.
SUMMARY OF REVIEW: Prospects for success with forthcoming endovascular trials are robust, because new neurothrombectomy devices have superior reperfusion efficacy compared with earlier-generation interventions. Specific recommendations are provided for trial designs in 3 populations: (1) patients undergoing intravenous fibrinolysis, (2) early patients ineligible for or having failed intravenous fibrinolysis, and (3) wake-up and other late-presenting patients. Among intravenous fibrinolysis-eligible patients, key principles are that CT or MRI confirmation of target arterial occlusions should precede randomization; endovascular intervention should be pursued with the greatest rapidity possible; and combined intravenous and neurothrombectomy therapy is more promising than neurothrombectomy alone. Among patients ineligible for or having failed intravenous fibrinolysis, scientific equipoise was affirmed and the need to randomize all eligible patients emphasized. Vessel imaging to confirm occlusion is mandatory, and infarct core and penumbral imaging is desirable in later time windows. Additional STAIR VIII recommendations include approaches to test multiple devices in a single trial, utility weighting of disability end points, and adaptive designs to delineate time and tissue injury thresholds at which benefits from intervention no longer accrue.
CONCLUSIONS: Endovascular research priorities in acute ischemic stroke are to perform trials testing new, highly effective neuro thrombectomy devices rapidly deployed in patients confirmed to have target vessel occlusions.
BACKGROUND: Prognostication in the early stage of traumatic coma is a common challenge in the neuro-intensive care unit. We report the unexpected recovery of functional milestones (i.e., consciousness, communication, and community reintegration) in a 19-year-old man who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. The early magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, at the time, suggested a poor prognosis.
METHODS: During the first year of the patient's recovery, MRI with diffusion tensor imaging and T2*-weighted imaging was performed on day 8 (coma), day 44 (minimally conscious state), day 198 (post-traumatic confusional state), and day 366 (community reintegration). Mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy values in the corpus callosum, cerebral hemispheric white matter, and thalamus were compared with clinical assessments using the Disability Rating Scale (DRS).
RESULTS: Extensive diffusion restriction in the corpus callosum and bihemispheric white matter was observed on day 8, with ADC values in a range typically associated with neurotoxic injury (230-400 × 10(-6 )mm(2)/s). T2*-weighted MRI revealed widespread hemorrhagic axonal injury in the cerebral hemispheres, corpus callosum, and brainstem. Despite the presence of severe axonal injury on early MRI, the patient regained the ability to communicate and perform activities of daily living independently at 1 year post-injury (DRS = 8).
CONCLUSIONS: MRI data should be interpreted with caution when prognosticating for patients in traumatic coma. Recovery of consciousness and community reintegration are possible even when extensive traumatic axonal injury is demonstrated by early MRI.
The purpose of this project was to evaluate white matter degeneration and its impact on hippocampal structural connectivity in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. We estimated white matter fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity and hippocampal structural connectivity in two independent cohorts. The ADNI cohort included 108 subjects [25 cognitively normal, 21 amnestic mild cognitive impairment, 47 non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment and 15 Alzheimer's disease]. A second cohort included 34 subjects [15 cognitively normal and 19 amnestic mild cognitive impairment] recruited in Montreal. All subjects underwent clinical and neuropsychological assessment in addition to diffusion and T1 MRI. Individual fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity maps were generated using FSL-DTIfit. In addition, hippocampal structural connectivity maps expressing the probability of connectivity between the hippocampus and cortex were generated using a pipeline based on FSL-probtrackX. Voxel-based group comparison statistics of fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity and hippocampal structural connectivity were estimated using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics. The proportion of abnormal to total white matter volume was estimated using the total volume of the white matter skeleton. We found that in both cohorts, amnestic mild cognitive impairment patients had 27-29% white matter volume showing higher mean diffusivity but no significant fractional anisotropy abnormalities. No fractional anisotropy or mean diffusivity differences were observed between non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment patients and cognitively normal subjects. Alzheimer's disease patients had 66.3% of normalized white matter volume with increased mean diffusivity and 54.3% of the white matter had reduced fractional anisotropy. Reduced structural connectivity was found in the hippocampal connections to temporal, inferior parietal, posterior cingulate and frontal regions only in the Alzheimer's group. The severity of white matter degeneration appears to be higher in advanced clinical stages, supporting the construct that these abnormalities are part of the pathophysiological processes of Alzheimer's disease.