Background and Purpose - In ischemic stroke, perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) provide important pathophysiological information. A PWI>DWI mismatch pattern suggests the presence of salvageable tissue. However, improved methods for distinguishing PWI>DWI mismatch tissue that is critically hypoperfused from benign oligemia are required. Methods - We investigated the usefulness of maps of relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF), volume (rCBV), and mean transit time (rMTT) to predict transition to infarction in hyperacute (<6 hours) stroke patients with PWI>DWI mismatch patterns. Semiquantitative color-thresholded analysis was used to measure hypoperfusion volumes, including increasing color signal intensity thresholds of rMTT delay, which were compared with infarct expansion, outcome infarct size, and clinical status. Results - Acute rCBF lesion volume had the strongest correlation with final infarct size (r=0.91, P<0.001) and clinical outcome (r=0.67, P<0.01). There was a trend for acute rCBF>DWI mismatch volume to overestimate infarct expansion between the acute and outcome study (P=0.06). Infarct expansion was underestimated by acute rCBV>DWI mismatch (P<0.001). When rMTT lesions included tissue with moderately prolonged transit times (mean delay 4.3 seconds, signal intensity values 50% to 70%), infarct expansion was overestimated. In contrast, when rMTT lesions were restricted to more severely prolonged transit times (mean delay 6.1 seconds, signal intensity >70%), these regions progressed to infarction in all except 1 patient, but infarct expansion was underestimated (P<0.001). Conclusions - The acute rCBF lesion most accurately identified tissue in the PWI>DWI mismatch region at risk of infarction. Color-thresholded PWI maps show potential for use in an acute clinical setting to prospectively predict tissue outcome.
- Ischemic stroke
- Magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion-weighted
- Magnetic resonance imaging, perfusion-weighted
- Stroke outcome