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Brain Res. 2005 May 10;1043(1-2):155-62.

Perfusion and diffusion imaging in acute focal cerebral ischemia: temporal vs. spatial resolution.

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Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, MA 02125, USA.


High-resolution diffusion- (DWI) and perfusion-weighted (PWI) imaging may provide substantial benefits in accurate delineation of normal, ischemic, and at-risk tissue. We compared the capability of low (400 x 400 microm(2)) and high (200 x 200 microm(2)) spatial resolution imaging in characterizing the spatiotemporal evolution of the ischemic lesion in a permanent middle artery occlusion (MCAO) model in rats. Serial measurements of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were performed. Lesion volumes were calculated by using viability thresholds or by visual inspection, and correlated with infarct volume defined by TTC staining at 24 h after MCAO. At the very early phase of ischemia, high-resolution resulted in a significantly larger ADC-derived lesion volume and a smaller PWI/DWI mismatch. At 3 h after MCAO, ADC and CBF lesions showed similar robust correlations with TTC-defined infarct volumes for both groups using previously established thresholds. When lesions were determined visually, low-resolution resulted in a substantial overestimation of TTC-defined infarct volume and a lower inter-observer reliability (r = 0.75), whereas high-resolution produced an excellent correlation with TTC-defined infarct volume and inter-observer reliability (r = 0.96). In conclusion, high-resolution MRI resulted in substantial temporal averaging of the ischemic lesion during the early phase, but was clearly superior in visual determination of final infarct size. Low-resolution reasonably evaluated the temporal and spatial evolution of ischemia when thresholds were used.

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