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Stroke. 2006 Jul;37(7):1771-7. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

Identification of penumbra and infarct in acute ischemic stroke using computed tomography perfusion-derived blood flow and blood volume measurements.

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  • 1University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.



We investigated whether computed tomography (CT) perfusion-derived cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral blood volume (CBV) could be used to differentiate between penumbra and infarcted gray matter in a limited, exploratory sample of acute stroke patients.


Thirty patients underwent a noncontrast CT (NCCT), CT angiography (CTA), and CT perfusion (CTP) scan within 7 hours of stroke onset, NCCT and CTA at 24 hours, and NCCT at 5 to 7 days. Twenty-five patients met the criteria for inclusion and were subsequently divided into 2 groups: those with recanalization at 24 hours (n=16) and those without (n=9). Penumbra was operationally defined as tissue with an admission CBF <25 mL x 100 g(-1) x min(-1) that was not infarcted on the 5- to 7-day NCCT. Logistic regression was applied to differentiate between infarct and penumbra data points.


For recanalized patients, CBF was significantly lower (P<0.05) for infarct (13.3+/-3.75 mL x 100 g(-1) x min(-1)) than penumbra (25.0+/-3.82 mL x 100 g(-1) x min(-1)). CBV in the penumbra (2.15+/-0.43 mL x 100 g(-1)) was significantly higher than contralateral (1.78+/-0.30 mL x 100 g(-1)) and infarcted tissue (1.12+/-0.37 mL x 100 g(-1)). Logistic regression using an interaction term (CBFxCBV) resulted in sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 97.0%, 97.2%, and 97.1%, respectively. The interaction term resulted in a significantly better (P<0.05) fit than CBF or CBV alone, suggesting that the CBV threshold for infarction varies with CBF. For patients without recanalization, CBF and CBV for infarcted regions were 15.1+/-5.67 mL x 100 g(-1) x min(-1) and 1.17+/-0.41 mL x 100 g(-1), respectively.


We have shown in a limited sample of patients that CBF and CBV obtained from CTP can be sensitive and specific for infarction and should be investigated further in a prospective trial to assess their utility for differentiating between infarct and penumbra.

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