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Stroke. 2006 Jan;37(1):98-104. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Do acute diffusion- and perfusion-weighted MRI lesions identify final infarct volume in ischemic stroke?

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  • 1Division of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK.



An acute mismatch on diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and perfusion-weighted MRI (PWI) may represent the "tissue-at-risk." It is unclear which "semiquantitative" perfusion parameter most closely identifies final infarct volume.


Acute stroke patients underwent DWI and PWI (dynamic-susceptibility contrast imaging) on admission (baseline), and T2-weighted imaging (T2WI) at 1 or 3 months after stroke. "Semiquantitative" mean transit time (MTTsq=first moment of concentration/time curve), cerebral blood volume (CBVsq=area under concentration/time curve), and cerebral blood flow (CBFsq=CBVsq/MTTsq) were calculated. DWI and PWI lesions were measured at baseline and final infarct volume on T2WI acquired > or =1 month after stroke. Baseline DWI, CBFsq, and MTTsq lesion volumes were compared with final T2WI lesion volume.


Among 46 patients, baseline DWI and CBFsq lesions were not significantly different from final T2WI lesion volume, but baseline MTTsq lesions were significantly larger. The correlation with final T2WI lesion volume was strongest for DWI (Spearman rank correlation coefficient rho=0.68), intermediate for CBFsq (rho=0.55), and weakest for MTTsq (rho=0.49) baseline lesion volumes. Neither DWI/CBFsq nor DWI/MTTsq mismatch predicted lesion growth; lesion growth was equally common in those with and without mismatch.


Of the 2 PWI parameters, CBFsq lesions most closely identifies, and MTTsq overestimates, final T2WI lesion volume. "DWI/PWI mismatch" does not identify lesion growth. Patients without "DWI/PWI mismatch" are equally likely to have lesion growth as those with mismatch and should not be excluded from acute stroke treatment.

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