Stroke

Cheng B, Brinkmann M, Forkert ND, Treszl A, Ebinger M, Köhrmann M, Wu O, Kang D-W, Liebeskind DS, Tourdias T, Singer OC, Christensen S, Luby M, Warach S, Fiehler J, Fiebach JB, Gerloff C, Thomalla G. Quantitative measurements of relative fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) signal intensities in acute stroke for the prediction of time from symptom onset. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2013;33(1):76-84.Abstract
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.
Kimberly TW, Wu O, Arsava ME, Garg P, Ji R, Vangel M, Singhal AB, Ay H, Sorensen GA. Lower hemoglobin correlates with larger stroke volumes in acute ischemic stroke. Cerebrovasc Dis Extra 2011;1(1):44-53.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Hemoglobin tetramers are the major oxygen-carrying molecules within the blood. We hypothesized that a lower hemoglobin level and its reduced oxygen-carrying capacity would associate with larger infarction in acute ischemic stroke patients. METHODS: We studied 135 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke and perfusion brain MRI. We explored the association of admission hemoglobin with initial infarct volumes on acute images and the volume of infarct expansion on follow-up images. Multivariable linear regression was performed to analyze the independent effect of hemoglobin on imaging outcomes. RESULTS: Bivariate analyses showed a significant inverse correlation between hemoglobin and initial volume in diffusion-weighted imaging (r = -0.20, p = 0.02) and absolute infarct growth (r = -0.20, p = 0.02). Multivariable linear regression modeling revealed that hemoglobin remained independently predictive of larger infarct volumes acutely (p < 0.005) and with greater infarct expansion (p < 0.01) after adjusting for known covariates. CONCLUSIONS: Hemoglobin level at the time of acute ischemic stroke associates with larger infarcts and increased infarct growth. Clarification of the mechanism of this effect may yield novel insights for therapy.
Auriel E, Edlow BL, Reijmer YD, Fotiadis P, Ramirez-Martinez S, Ni J, Reed AK, Vashkevich A, Schwab K, Rosand J, Viswanathan A, Wu O, Gurol EM, Greenberg SM. Microinfarct disruption of white matter structure: a longitudinal diffusion tensor analysis. Neurology 2014;83(2):182-8.Abstract
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.
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.
van der Zijden JP, Bouts MJRJ, Wu O, Roeling TA, Bleys RL, van der Toorn A, Dijkhuizen RM. Manganese-enhanced MRI of brain plasticity in relation to functional recovery after experimental stroke. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2008;28(4):832-40.Abstract
Restoration of function after stroke may be associated with structural remodeling of neuronal connections outside the infarcted area. However, the spatiotemporal profile of poststroke alterations in neuroanatomical connectivity in relation to functional recovery is still largely unknown. We performed in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based neuronal tract tracing with manganese in combination with immunohistochemical detection of the neuronal tracer wheat-germ agglutinin horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP), to assess changes in intra- and interhemispheric sensorimotor network connections from 2 to 10 weeks after unilateral stroke in rats. In addition, functional recovery was measured by repetitive behavioral testing. Four days after tracer injection in perilesional sensorimotor cortex, manganese enhancement and WGA-HRP staining were decreased in subcortical areas of the ipsilateral sensorimotor network at 2 weeks after stroke, which was restored at later time points. At 4 to 10 weeks after stroke, we detected significantly increased manganese enhancement in the contralateral hemisphere. Behaviorally, sensorimotor functions were initially disturbed but subsequently recovered and plateaued 17 days after stroke. This study shows that manganese-enhanced MRI can provide unique in vivo information on the spatiotemporal pattern of neuroanatomical plasticity after stroke. Our data suggest that the plateau stage of functional recovery is associated with restoration of ipsilateral sensorimotor pathways and enhanced interhemispheric connectivity.
Copen WA, Morais LT, Wu O, Schwamm LH, Schaefer PW, González GR, Yoo AJ. In Acute Stroke, Can CT Perfusion-Derived Cerebral Blood Volume Maps Substitute for Diffusion-Weighted Imaging in Identifying the Ischemic Core?. PLoS One 2015;10(7):e0133566.Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In the treatment of patients with suspected acute ischemic stroke, increasing evidence suggests the importance of measuring the volume of the irreversibly injured "ischemic core." The gold standard method for doing this in the clinical setting is diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI), but many authors suggest that maps of regional cerebral blood volume (CBV) derived from computed tomography perfusion imaging (CTP) can substitute for DWI. We sought to determine whether DWI and CTP-derived CBV maps are equivalent in measuring core volume. METHODS: 58 patients with suspected stroke underwent CTP and DWI within 6 hours of symptom onset. We measured low-CBV lesion volumes using three methods: "objective absolute," i.e. the volume of tissue with CBV below each of six published absolute thresholds (0.9-2.5 mL/100 g), "objective relative," whose six thresholds (51%-60%) were fractions of mean contralateral CBV, and "subjective," in which two radiologists (R1, R2) outlined lesions subjectively. We assessed the sensitivity and specificity of each method, threshold, and radiologist in detecting infarction, and the degree to which each over- or underestimated the DWI core volume. Additionally, in the subset of 32 patients for whom follow-up CT or MRI was available, we measured the proportion of CBV- or DWI-defined core lesions that exceeded the follow-up infarct volume, and the maximum amount by which this occurred. RESULTS: DWI was positive in 72% (42/58) of patients. CBV maps' sensitivity/specificity in identifying DWI-positive patients were 100%/0% for both objective methods with all thresholds, 43%/94% for R1, and 83%/44% for R2. Mean core overestimation was 156-699 mL for objective absolute thresholds, and 127-200 mL for objective relative thresholds. For R1 and R2, respectively, mean±SD subjective overestimation were -11±26 mL and -11±23 mL, but subjective volumes differed from DWI volumes by up to 117 and 124 mL in individual patients. Inter-rater agreement regarding the presence of infarction on CBV maps was poor (kappa = 0.21). Core lesions defined by the six objective absolute CBV thresholds exceeded follow-up infarct volumes for 81%-100% of patients, by up to 430-1002 mL. Core estimates produced by objective relative thresholds exceeded follow-up volumes in 91% of patients, by up to 210-280 mL. Subjective lesions defined by R1 and R2 exceeded follow-up volumes in 18% and 26% of cases, by up to 71 and 15 mL, respectively. Only 1 of 23 DWI lesions (4%) exceeded final infarct volume, by 3 mL. CONCLUSION: CTP-derived CBV maps cannot reliably substitute for DWI in measuring core volume, or even establish which patients have DWI lesions.
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.
Kimberly TW, Battey TWK, Pham L, Wu O, Yoo AJ, Furie KL, Singhal AB, Elm JJ, Stern BJ, Sheth KN. Glyburide is associated with attenuated vasogenic edema in stroke patients. Neurocrit Care 2014;20(2):193-201.Abstract
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.
Song SS, Latour LL, Ritter CH, Wu O, Tighiouart M, Hernandez DA, Ku KD, Luby M, Warach S. A pragmatic approach using magnetic resonance imaging to treat ischemic strokes of unknown onset time in a thrombolytic trial. Stroke 2012;43(9):2331-5.Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Toward the goal of designing a clinical trial using imaging parameters to treat stroke patients with unknown onset time, we investigated the timing of changes on MRI in patients with well-defined stroke onset. METHODS: Hypothesis-generating (n=85) and confirmatory (n=111) samples were scored by blinded readers for fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintensity in diffusion-positive regions. Reader-measured signal intensity ratio (SIR) of the lesion to contralateral tissue was compared with SIR measured by coregistration. RESULTS: Lesion conspicuity increased with time on FLAIR (P=0.006). Qualitative assessment of FLAIR-negative vs FLAIR hyperintensity (k=0.7091; 95% CI, 0.61-0.81) showed good interrater agreement. Subtle hyperintensity was less reliably categorized (k=0.59; 95% CI, 0.47-0.71). Reader-measured SIR <1.15 can identify patients within the treatable time window of 4.5 hours (positive predictive value=0.90). The SIR was greater for right hemisphere lesions (P=0.04) for a given reported time from stroke symptom onset. CONCLUSIONS: The SIR on FLAIR provides a quantitative tool to identify early ischemic strokes. In developing SIR thresholds, right hemisphere lesions may confound the accurate estimate of stroke onset time. Image coregistration for thrombolytic trial enrollment is not necessary. A SIR <1.15 on FLAIR yields a practical estimate of stroke onset within 4.5 hours.
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.
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.
Wintermark M, Albers GW, Alexandrov AV, Alger JR, Bammer R, Baron J-C, Davis S, Demaerschalk BM, Derdeyn CP, Donnan GA, Eastwood JD, Fiebach JB, Fisher M, Furie KL, Goldmakher GV, Hacke W, Kidwell CS, Kloska SP, Köhrmann M, Koroshetz W, Lee T-Y, Lees KR, Lev MH, Liebeskind DS, Ostergaard L, Powers WJ, Provenzale J, Schellinger P, Silbergleit R, Sorensen AG, Wardlaw J, Wu O, Warach S. Acute stroke imaging research roadmap. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2008;29(5):e23-30.Abstract
The recent "Advanced Neuroimaging for Acute Stroke Treatment" meeting on September 7 and 8, 2007 in Washington DC, brought together stroke neurologists, neuroradiologists, emergency physicians, neuroimaging research scientists, members of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), industry representatives, and members of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the role of advanced neuroimaging in acute stroke treatment. The goals of the meeting were to assess state-of-the-art practice in terms of acute stroke imaging research and to propose specific recommendations regarding: (1) the standardization of perfusion and penumbral imaging techniques, (2) the validation of the accuracy and clinical utility of imaging markers of the ischemic penumbra, (3) the validation of imaging biomarkers relevant to clinical outcomes, and (4) the creation of a central repository to achieve these goals. The present article summarizes these recommendations and examines practical steps to achieve them.
Warach SJ, Luby M, Albers GW, Bammer R, Bivard A, Campbell BCV, Derdeyn C, Heit JJ, Khatri P, Lansberg MG, Liebeskind DS, Majoie CBLM, Marks MP, Menon BK, Muir KW, Parsons MW, Vagal A, Yoo AJ, Alexandrov AV, Baron J-C, Fiorella DJ, Furlan AJ, Puig J, Schellinger PD, Wintermark M. Acute Stroke Imaging Research Roadmap III Imaging Selection and Outcomes in Acute Stroke Reperfusion Clinical Trials: Consensus Recommendations and Further Research Priorities. Stroke 2016;47(5):1389-98.Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The Stroke Imaging Research (STIR) group, the Imaging Working Group of StrokeNet, the American Society of Neuroradiology, and the Foundation of the American Society of Neuroradiology sponsored an imaging session and workshop during the Stroke Treatment Academy Industry Roundtable (STAIR) IX on October 5 to 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. The purpose of this roadmap was to focus on the role of imaging in future research and clinical trials. METHODS: This forum brought together stroke neurologists, neuroradiologists, neuroimaging research scientists, members of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), industry representatives, and members of the US Food and Drug Administration to discuss STIR priorities in the light of an unprecedented series of positive acute stroke endovascular therapy clinical trials. RESULTS: The imaging session summarized and compared the imaging components of the recent positive endovascular trials and proposed opportunities for pooled analyses. The imaging workshop developed consensus recommendations for optimal imaging methods for the acquisition and analysis of core, mismatch, and collaterals across multiple modalities, and also a standardized approach for measuring the final infarct volume in prospective clinical trials. CONCLUSIONS: Recent positive acute stroke endovascular clinical trials have demonstrated the added value of neurovascular imaging. The optimal imaging profile for endovascular treatment includes large vessel occlusion, smaller core, good collaterals, and large penumbra. However, equivalent definitions for the imaging profile parameters across modalities are needed, and a standardization effort is warranted, potentially leveraging the pooled data resulting from the recent positive endovascular trials.
Wintermark M, Albers GW, Broderick JP, Demchuk AM, Fiebach JB, Fiehler J, Grotta JC, Houser G, Jovin TG, Lees KR, Lev MH, Liebeskind DS, Luby M, Muir KW, Parsons MW, von Kummer R, Wardlaw JM, Wu O, Yoo AJ, Alexandrov AV, Alger JR, Aviv RI, Bammer R, Baron J-C, Calamante F, Campbell BCV, Carpenter TC, Christensen S, Copen WA, Derdeyn CP, Haley CE, Khatri P, Kudo K, Lansberg MG, Latour LL, Lee T-Y, Leigh R, Lin W, Lyden P, Mair G, Menon BK, Michel P, Mikulik R, Nogueira RG, Ostergaard L, Pedraza S, Riedel CH, Rowley HA, Sanelli PC, Sasaki M, Saver JL, Schaefer PW, Schellinger PD, Tsivgoulis G, Wechsler LR, White PM, Zaharchuk G, Zaidat OO, Davis SM, Donnan GA, Furlan AJ, Hacke W, Kang D-W, Kidwell C, Thijs VN, Thomalla G, Warach SJ. Acute Stroke Imaging Research Roadmap II. Stroke 2013;44(9):2628-39.
Thomalla G, Cheng B, Ebinger M, Hao Q, Tourdias T, Wu O, Kim JS, Breuer L, Singer OC, Warach S, Christensen S, Treszl A, Forkert ND, Galinovic I, Rosenkranz M, Engelhorn T, Köhrmann M, Endres M, Kang D-W, Dousset V, Sorensen GA, Liebeskind DS, Fiebach JB, Fiehler J, Gerloff C. DWI-FLAIR mismatch for the identification of patients with acute ischaemic stroke within 4·5 h of symptom onset (PRE-FLAIR): a multicentre observational study. Lancet Neurol 2011;10(11):978-86.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Many patients with stroke are precluded from thrombolysis treatment because the time from onset of their symptoms is unknown. We aimed to test whether a mismatch in visibility of an acute ischaemic lesion between diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI (DWI-FLAIR mismatch) can be used to detect patients within the recommended time window for thrombolysis. METHODS: In this multicentre observational study, we analysed clinical and MRI data from patients presenting between Jan 1, 2001, and May 31, 2009, with acute stroke for whom DWI and FLAIR were done within 12 h of observed symptom onset. Two neurologists masked to clinical data judged the visibility of acute ischaemic lesions on DWI and FLAIR imaging, and DWI-FLAIR mismatch was diagnosed by consensus. We calculated predictive values of DWI-FLAIR mismatch for the identification of patients with symptom onset within 4·5 h and within 6 h and did multivariate regression analysis to identify potential confounding covariates. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01021319. FINDINGS: The final analysis included 543 patients. Mean age was 66·0 years (95% CI 64·7-67·3) and median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 8 (IQR 4-15). Acute ischaemic lesions were identified on DWI in 516 patients (95%) and on FLAIR in 271 patients (50%). Interobserver agreement for acute ischaemic lesion visibility on FLAIR imaging was moderate (κ=0·569, 95% CI 0·504-0·634). DWI-FLAIR mismatch identified patients within 4·5 h of symptom onset with 62% (95% CI 57-67) sensitivity, 78% (72-84) specificity, 83% (79-88) positive predictive value, and 54% (48-60) negative predictive value. Multivariate regression analysis identified a longer time to MRI (p<0·0001), a lower age (p=0·0009), and a larger DWI lesion volume (p=0·0226) as independent predictors of lesion visibility on FLAIR imaging. INTERPRETATION: Patients with an acute ischaemic lesion detected with DWI but not with FLAIR imaging are likely to be within a time window for which thrombolysis is safe and effective. These findings lend support to the use of DWI-FLAIR mismatch for selection of patients in a future randomised trial of thrombolysis in patients with unknown time of symptom onset. FUNDING: Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, National Institutes of Health.

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