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Stroke. 2008 Aug;39(8):2257-63. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.511535. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

Relationships between infarct growth, clinical outcome, and early recanalization in diffusion and perfusion imaging for understanding stroke evolution (DEFUSE).

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and the Stanford Stroke Center, Stanford University Medical Center, 701 Welch Road, Suite 325, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA. jmolivot@stanford.edu



The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between ischemic lesion growth, recanalization, and clinical response in stroke patients with and without a perfusion/diffusion mismatch.


DEFUSE is an open label multicenter study in which 74 consecutive acute stroke patients were treated with intravenous tPA 3 to 6 hours after stroke onset. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained before, 3 to 6 hours after, and 30 days after treatment. Lesion growth was defined as the difference between the final infarct volume (30 day FLAIR) and the baseline diffusion lesion. Baseline MRI profiles were used to categorize 44 patients into Mismatch versus Absence of Mismatch subgroups. Early recanalization was assessed in 28 patients with an initial vessel lesion on magnetic resonance angiography. Infarct growth was compared based on whether a favorable clinical response (FCR) occurred and whether early recanalization was achieved.


In the Mismatch subgroup, FCR was associated with less infarct growth P=0.03 and early recanalization was predictive of both FCR (odds ratio: 22, P=0.047) and reduced infarct growth P=0.024. There was no significant relationship between recanalization, infarct growth, and clinical outcome in the Absence of Mismatch subgroup. A threshold of <7 cc of growth had the highest sensitivity and specificity for predicting a FCR in Mismatch patients (odds ratio: 65, P=0.015, sensitivity 82%, specificity 75%).


In contrast to Absence of Mismatch patients, significant associations between recanalization, reduced infarct growth, and favorable clinical response were documented in patients with a perfusion/diffusion mismatch who were treated with tPA within 3 to 6 hours after stroke onset. These findings support the Mismatch hypothesis but require validation in a larger study.

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