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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2011 Aug;50(2):75-80. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2011.50.2.75. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Leukoaraiosis on magnetic resonance imaging is related to long-term poor functional outcome after thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Busan-Ulsan Regional Cardiocerebrovascular Center, Medical Science Research Center, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.



Leukoaraiosis (LA) has been suggested to be related to the poor outcome or the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) after acute ischemic stroke. We retrospectively investigated the influences of LA on long-term outcome and the occurrence of sICH after thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke (AIS).


In this study, we recruited 164 patients with AIS and magnetic resonance image (MRI)-detected thrombolysis. The presence and extent of LA were assessed using the Fazekas grading system. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was used to assess the baseline measure of neurologic severity, and the modified Rankin Scale score assessment was used up to 1 year after thrombolysis.


Of 164 subjects, 56 (34.2%) showed LA on MRI. Compared to the 108 patients without LA, the patients with LA were of much older age (p<0.01), had a higher prevalence of hypertension (p<0.01), and had a much poorer outcome at 90 days (p=0.05) and 1 yr (p=0.01) after thrombolysis. There were no significant differences in sICH between patients with and without LA on MRI. In univariate analysis for the occurrence of poor outcome at 90 days after thrombolysis, the size of ischemic lesion on diffusion weighted images (DWI), [odds ratio (OR), 1.03; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.01-1.04; p<0.01], recanalization (OR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.10; p<0.01), sICH (OR, 12.2; 95% CI, 1.54-95.8), neurologic severity (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.09-1.25; p<0.01), blood glucose level (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.02; p=0.03), and the presence of LA on MRI (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.04-3.01; p=0.04) were statistically significant. In multivariate analysis, neurologic severity (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.04-1.24; p<0.01), recanalization (OR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.11; p<0.01), lesion size on DWI (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03; p=0.02), serum glucose level (OR, 1.01; 95% CI; 1.01-1.02; p=0.03), and the presence of LA on MRI (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.22-8.48; p<0.01) showed statistically significant differences. These trends persisted up to 1 yr after thrombolysis.


In this study, we demonstrated that the presence of LA on MRI might be related to poor outcome after use of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator in AIS.


Acute ischemic stroke; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Leukoaraiosis; Thrombolysis

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