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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013 Aug;22(6):742-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Validating imaging biomarkers of cerebral edema in patients with severe ischemic stroke.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is no validated neuroimaging marker for quantifying brain edema. We sought to test whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based metrics would reliably change during the early subacute period in a manner consistent with edema and whether they would correlate with relevant clinical endpoints.

METHODS:

Serial MRI studies from patients in the Echoplanar Imaging Thrombolytic Evaluation Trial with initial diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) lesion volume >82 cm(3) were analyzed. Two independent readers outlined the hemisphere and lateral ventricle on the involved side and calculated respective volumes at baseline and days 3 to 5. We assessed interrater agreement, volume change between scans, and the association of volume change with early neurologic deterioration (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score worsening of ≥ 4 points), a 90-day modified Rankin scale (mRS) score of 0 to 4, and mortality.

RESULTS:

Of 12 patients who met study criteria, average baseline and follow-up DWI lesion size was 138 cm(3) and 234 cm(3), respectively. The mean time to follow-up MRI was 62 hours. Concordance correlation coefficients between readers were >0.90 for both hemisphere and ventricle volume assessment. Mean percent hemisphere volume increase was 16.2 ± 8.3% (P < .0001), and the mean percent ventricle volume decrease was 45.6 ± 16.9% (P < .001). Percent hemisphere growth predicted early neurologic deterioration (area under the curve [AUC] 0.92; P = .0005) and 90-day mRS 0 to 4 (AUC 0.80; P = .02).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this exploratory analysis of severe ischemic stroke patients, statistically significant changes in hemisphere and ventricular volumes within the first week are consistent with expected changes of cerebral edema. MRI-based analysis of hemisphere growth appears to be a suitable biomarker for edema formation.

Copyright © 2013 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Acute ischemic stroke; biomarker subject codes 44 and 45; cerebral edema; magnetic resonance imaging; malignant stroke

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