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Cerebrovasc Dis. 2010;29(4):395-402. doi: 10.1159/000286342. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Associations of clinical stroke misclassification ('clinical-imaging dissociation') in acute ischemic stroke.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Up to 20% of lacunar infarcts are clinically misdiagnosed as cortical infarcts and vice versa. The reasons for this discrepancy are unclear. We assessed clinical and imaging features which might explain this 'clinical-imaging dissociation' (C-ID).

METHODS:

Patients with an acute stroke syndrome (cortical or lacunar) underwent magnetic resonance imaging including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). We recorded DWI-positive infarcts and proximity to cortex for small subcortical infarcts. We examined factors associated with C-ID.

RESULTS:

137 patients with a mild cortical or lacunar syndrome had an acute ischemic lesion on DWI. Of these, 21/93 (23%) with a cortical syndrome had an acute lacunar infarct and 7/44 (16%) with a lacunar syndrome had an acute cortical infarct. From 72 patients with an acute lacunar infarct on DWI, lesion proximity to cortex (odds ratio (OR) 14.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.61-130.1), left hemisphere location (OR 8.95, 95% CI 1.23-64.99) and diabetes (OR 17.1, 95% CI 1.49-196.16) predicted C-ID. On multivariate analysis of all 137 patients, C-ID was associated with diabetes (OR 7.12, 95% CI 1.86-27.2).

CONCLUSIONS:

C-ID occurs in a fifth of patients with mild stroke. Lacunar infarcts lying close to cortex are more likely to cause cortical symptoms. Diabetes is associated with any clinical-imaging mismatch. Stroke misclassification which can arise with clinical classification alone should be minimized in research by verification with high-sensitivity imaging.

(c) 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
20173323
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4067720
Free PMC Article
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