Intra-Arterial Thrombus Visualized on T2* Gradient Echo Imaging in Acute Ischemic Stroke

Department of Neuroradiology, CHU Lariboisière, Paris, France.
Cerebrovascular Diseases (Impact Factor: 3.75). 02/2005; 20(1):6-11. DOI: 10.1159/000086120
Source: PubMed


MR signal loss related to arterial thrombosis leading to vascular susceptibility artifacts (VSA) has recently been reported on gradient echo images. The time course and sensitivity of VSA in acute stroke patients has been scarcely investigated. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and course of VSA in acute stroke patients, to compare its sensitivity to distinct features of arterial occlusion as detected on FLAIR images or on CT scan.
Twenty-nine patients were scanned from 45 min to 6 h after stroke onset using identical MR parameters. All had an acute ischemic lesion identified on diffusion-weighted images, 25 had an occlusion of MCA or PCA confirmed by magnetic resonance angiography.
VSA was detected in 22/25 patients having an occluded artery at the time of MRI examination. Flair disclosed a hyperintense vessel in all of these 25 cases, but CT scan revealed a hyperdense artery in only 15 cases. Follow-up studies showed that VSA can vanish or disappear after partial recanalization. When the artery remains occluded, VSA can decrease, disappear or increase in the next hours, possibly related to structural modifications of the thrombus with time. Most occlusions were due to cardiac and arterial emboli or to intracranial extension of carotid occlusion.
VSA are frequent in the first hours of MCA or PCA occlusion in acute stroke patients. The sensitivity of VSA appears lower than the arterial hyperintensity on FLAIR images but higher than the hyperdense artery sign on CT scan. The extent and intensity of VSA can change with recanalization or structural modifications of the thrombus.

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    • "Previous studies have reported that the middle cerebral artery (MCA) susceptibility sign in T2 * -weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images can be indicative of an acute thromboembolic occlusion [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. Acute thrombi and emboli contain large amounts of deoxygenated hemoglobin, which can severely shorten T2-weighted signals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Presence of susceptibility sign on middle cerebral artery (MCA) in T 2 ∗ -weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images has been reported to detect acute MCA thromboembolic occlusion. However, the pathophysiologic course of thrombotic MCA occlusion differs from embolic occlusion, which might induce different imaging characters. Our study found that the occurrence rate of the MCA susceptibility sign in cardioembolism (CE) patients was significantly higher than in large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) patients, and the diameter of the MCA susceptibility sign for CE was greater than for LAA. Moreover, the patients with hemorrhagic transformation had MCA susceptibility signs with a significant larger mean diameter than patients without hemorrhagic transformation. Therefore, we hypothesized that the morphology of susceptibility signs could be used to differentiate acute cardioembolic and thrombotic MCA occlusions, which helped to select appropriate treatment strategies for different patients.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Cerebrovascular Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperintense vessels (HV) on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery imaging are frequently observed in acute ischemic stroke patients. However, the exact mechanism and clinical implications of this sign have not yet been clearly defined. The features of HV and its relevance to other imaging factors are presented here. Prominence and location of HV were documented in 52 consecutive patients with middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory infarction, before treatment with IV recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. Pretreatment ischemic lesion volume, perfusion lesion volume, and vessel occlusion were determined in addition to recanalization status and ischemic lesion volume on follow-up imaging. NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was used as a measure of clinical severity. HV distal to arterial occlusion was observed in 73% of patients; more frequent in proximal than distal MCA occlusion patients. Among the 38 patients with proximal MCA occlusion, initial perfusion lesion volume was comparable among patients with different grade distal HV. However, patients with more prominent distal HV had smaller initial, 24-hour, and subacute ischemic lesion volumes and lower initial NIHSS scores. The presence of distal hyperintense vessels before thrombolytic treatment is associated with large diffusion-perfusion mismatch and smaller subacute ischemic lesion volumes in patients with proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion. DWI = diffusion-weighted imaging; FLAIR = fluid-attenuated inversion recovery; GRE = gradient recalled echo; HV = hyperintense vessels; MCA = middle cerebral artery; MRA = magnetic resonance angiography; MTT = mean transit time; NIHSS = NIH Stroke Scale; PWI = perfusion-weighted imaging; rt-PA = recombinant tissue plasminogen activator; TE = echo time; TI = inversion time; TIMI = thrombolysis in myocardial infarction; TR = repetition time.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Neurology
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