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Eur Radiol. 2004 Mar;14(3):417-24. Epub 2004 Jan 23.

MRI of hyperacute stroke in the AChA territory.

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Department of Medical Imaging, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Brussels, Belgium.


The purpose of our study was to derive from the anatomical literature an easy-to-use map of the brain areas supplied by the anterior choroidal artery (AChA) and to assess the correspondence between damage within the putative AChA areas and clinical symptoms. A thorough review of the literature led to the recognition of 16 anatomical areas which could be delineated on routine diffusion-weighted MR images. A database of 138 consecutive ischemic stroke patients examined with MRI less than 6 h after symptoms onset was thereafter processed in a retrospective way. Patients presenting with at least one damaged AChA area were selected so as to assess the prevalence of AChA infarction and the clinical correlates of the condition. Fifteen patients (11%) had at least one damaged AChA area. Only two of them had "pure" AChA-restricted infarction. Contralateral hemiparesis and contralateral hemianesthesia were best predicted by lesions within the tail of the caudate nucleus with a sensitivity of 87% and 83%, respectively. Homonymous hemianopsia best correlated with lesions within the posterior limb of the internal capsule and within the retrolenticular part of the internal capsule, with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 70% for both areas. We concluded that the clinical-radiological correlations did not match the neurophysiological standards, thereby highlighting the limitation of this study, which involved a cohort of acute stroke patients recruited from clinical practice and investigated the clinical impact of these brain lesions, even when documented with the most sensitive imaging modality.

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