Development of brain infarct volume as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Follow‐up of diffusion‐weighted MRI lesions

Department of Neurology, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany; Department of Neurology, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Impact Factor: 2.57). 07/2004; 20(2):201 - 207. DOI: 10.1002/jmri.20096

ABSTRACT PurposeTo investigate the development of ischemic brain lesions, as present in the acute stroke phase, by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI), and in the subacute and chronic phases until up to four months after stroke, in fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR)- and T2-weighted (T2W) magnetic resonance (MR) images.Materials and Methods
Twelve consecutive patients with their first middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction were included. Lesion volumes were assessed on T2W images recorded with a turbo spin echo (TSE) and on images recorded with the FLAIR sequence on average on day 8 and after about four months. They were compared with acute lesion volumes in perfusion and DWI images taken within 24 hours of stroke onset.ResultsOn day 8, lesion volumes in images obtained with FLAIR exceeded the acute infarct volumes in DWI. The chronic lesion volumes were almost identical in T2W and FLAIR images but significantly reduced compared with the acute DWI lesions. The lesion volumes assessed on DWI images correlated highly with the lesions in the images obtained with TSE or FLAIR, as did the lesions in the images obtained with FLAIR and TSE. The secondary lesion shrinkage was accompanied by ventricular enlargement and perilesional sulcal widening, as most clearly visible in the images obtained with FLAIR.Conclusion
Our results show that the acute DWI lesions are highly predictive for the infarct lesion in the chronic stage after stroke despite a dynamic lesion evolution most evident in MR images obtained with FLAIR. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2004;20:201–207. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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