BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In malignant infarction, brain edema leads to secondary neurological deterioration and poor outcome. We sought to determine whether swelling is associated with outcome in smaller volume strokes.
METHODS: Two research cohorts of acute stroke subjects with serial brain MRI were analyzed. The categorical presence of swelling and infarct growth was assessed on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) by comparing baseline and follow-up scans. The increase in stroke volume (ΔDWI) was then subdivided into swelling and infarct growth volumes using region-of-interest analysis. The relationship of these imaging markers with outcome was evaluated in univariable and multivariable regression.
RESULTS: The presence of swelling independently predicted worse outcome after adjustment for age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, admission glucose, and baseline DWI volume (odds ratio, 4.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-18.9; P<0.02). Volumetric analysis confirmed that ΔDWI was associated with outcome (odds ratio, 4.29; 95% confidence interval, 2.00-11.5; P<0.001). After partitioning ΔDWI into swelling and infarct growth volumetrically, swelling remained an independent predictor of poor outcome (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.17; P<0.005). Larger infarct growth was also associated with poor outcome (odds ratio, 7.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-143; P<0.045), although small infarct growth was not. The severity of cytotoxic injury measured on apparent diffusion coefficient maps was associated with swelling, whereas the perfusion deficit volume was associated with infarct growth.
CONCLUSIONS: Swelling and infarct growth each contribute to total stroke lesion growth in the days after stroke. Swelling is an independent predictor of poor outcome, with a brain swelling volume of ≥11 mL identified as the threshold with greatest sensitivity and specificity for predicting poor outcome.
BACKGROUND: Brain edema is a serious complication of ischemic stroke that can lead to secondary neurological deterioration and death. Glyburide is reported to prevent brain swelling in preclinical rodent models of ischemic stroke through inhibition of a non-selective channel composed of sulfonylurea receptor 1 and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 4. However, the relevance of this pathway to the development of cerebral edema in stroke patients is not known.
METHODS: Using a case-control design, we retrospectively assessed neuroimaging and blood markers of cytotoxic and vasogenic edema in subjects who were enrolled in the glyburide advantage in malignant edema and stroke-pilot (GAMES-Pilot) trial. We compared serial brain magnetic resonance images (MRIs) to a cohort with similar large volume infarctions. We also compared matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plasma level in large hemispheric stroke.
RESULTS: We report that IV glyburide was associated with T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery signal intensity ratio on brain MRI, diminished the lesional water diffusivity between days 1 and 2 (pseudo-normalization), and reduced blood MMP-9 level.
CONCLUSIONS: Several surrogate markers of vasogenic edema appear to be reduced in the setting of IV glyburide treatment in human stroke. Verification of these potential imaging and blood biomarkers is warranted in the context of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the local effect of small asymptomatic infarctions detected by diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) on white matter microstructure using longitudinal structural and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
METHODS: Nine acute to subacute DWI lesions were identified in 6 subjects with probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy who had undergone high-resolution MRI both before and after DWI lesion detection. Regions of interest (ROIs) corresponding to the site of the DWI lesion (lesion ROI) and corresponding site in the nonlesioned contralateral hemisphere (control ROI) were coregistered to the pre- and postlesional scans. DTI tractography was additionally performed to reconstruct the white matter tracts containing the ROIs. DTI parameters (fractional anisotropy [FA], mean diffusivity [MD]) were quantified within each ROI, the 6-mm lesion-containing tract segments, and the entire lesion-containing tract bundle. Lesion/control FA and MD ratios were compared across time points.
RESULTS: The postlesional scans (performed a mean 7.1 ± 4.7 months after DWI lesion detection) demonstrated a decrease in median FA lesion/control ROI ratio (1.08 to 0.93, p = 0.038) and increase in median MD lesion/control ROI ratio (0.97 to 1.17, p = 0.015) relative to the prelesional scans. There were no visible changes on postlesional high-resolution T1-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images in 4 of 9 lesion ROIs and small (2-5 mm) T1 hypointensities in the remaining 5. No postlesional changes in FA or MD ratios were detected in the 6-mm lesion-containing tract segments or full tract bundles.
CONCLUSIONS: Asymptomatic DWI lesions produce chronic local microstructural injury. The cumulative effects of these widely distributed lesions may directly contribute to small-vessel-related vascular cognitive impairment.
Neurological prognostication after cardiac arrest has always been challenging, and has become even more so since the advent of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) in the early 2000s. Studies in this field are prone to substantial biases--most importantly, the self-fulfilling prophecy of early withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies--and physicians must be aware of these limitations when evaluating individual patients. TH mandates sedation and prolongs drug metabolism, and delayed neuronal recovery is possible after cardiac arrest with or without hypothermia treatment; thus, the clinician must allow an adequate observation period to assess for delayed recovery. Exciting advances have been made in clinical evaluation, electrophysiology, chemical biomarkers and neuroimaging, providing insights into the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of injury, as well as prognosis. Some clinical features, such as pupillary reactivity, continue to provide robust information about prognosis, and EEG patterns, such as reactivity and continuity, seem promising as prognostic indicators. Evoked potential information is likely to remain a reliable prognostic tool in TH-treated patients, whereas traditional serum biomarkers, such as neuron-specific enolase, may be less reliable. Advanced neuroimaging techniques, particularly those utilizing MRI, hold great promise for the future. Clinicians should continue to use all the available tools to provide accurate prognostic advice to patients after cardiac arrest.
We propose and demonstrate an inference algorithm for the automatic segmentation of cerebrovascular pathologies in clinical MR images of the brain. Identifying and differentiating pathologies is important for understanding the underlying mechanisms and clinical outcomes of cerebral ischemia. Manual delineation of separate pathologies is infeasible in large studies of stroke that include thousands of patients. Unlike normal brain tissues and structures, the location and shape of the lesions vary across patients, presenting serious challenges for prior-driven segmentation. Our generative model captures spatial patterns and intensity properties associated with different cerebrovascular pathologies in stroke patients. We demonstrate the resulting segmentation algorithm on clinical images of a stroke patient cohort.
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.