[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
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.
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.
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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The concept of stroke MRI mismatch based on qualitative evaluation of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) has been applied in clinical practice for several years. The benefit of MRI in providing pathological evidence of ischemia before thrombolytic treatment has been demonstrated. The purpose of this study is to determine the reliability of the qualitative method and compare it with quantitative mismatch measurement in thrombolytic-treated patients.
Patients (n=70) were selected from the Lesion Evolution of Stroke and Ischemic On Neuroimaging (LESION) database if they: (1) were treated with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator; (2) had a pretreatment MRI with evaluable DWI and PWI; and (3) had acute ischemic lesion volume >10 mL on DWI as determined by core imaging laboratory measurements. Quantitative mismatch was defined as a difference of >50 mL between abnormal mean transit time and DWI volumes. Sample characteristics and postdischarge modified Rankin Scale for the positive mismatch patients were compared between the subgroups identified by qualitative versus quantitative methods.
Patient characteristics and thrombolytic outcomes (sex, age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, mismatch volume, and modified Rankin Scale) did not differ for mismatch patients identified by qualitative versus quantitative methods. Qualitative mismatch selection among neurologists had a high sensitivity (0.82), specificity (0.80), accuracy (0.81), and positive predictive value (0.88) compared with quantitative measurements.
We observed that qualitative evaluation of mismatch identified the same thrombolytic-treated patients compared with retrospective quantitative mismatch measurements.