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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Jul;36(7):1266-71. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4280. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Negative Susceptibility Vessel Sign and Underlying Intracranial Atherosclerotic Stenosis in Acute Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion.

Author information

1
From the Departments of Radiology (S.K.K., W.Y., T.W.H., H.K.K.).
2
From the Departments of Radiology (S.K.K., W.Y., T.W.H., H.K.K.) radyoon@jnu.ac.kr.
3
Neurology (M.S.P.), Chonnam National University Medical School, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The role of MR imaging in predicting underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis before endovascular stroke therapy has not been studied. Our aim was to determine the diagnostic value of the negative susceptibility vessel sign on T2*-weighted gradient-echo MR imaging for predicting underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis in patients with acute MCA occlusion.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Ninety-one consecutive patients with acute stroke because of MCA occlusion underwent gradient-echo MR imaging and MRA before endovascular therapy. The negative susceptibility vessel sign was defined as an absence of a hypointense signal change within the occluded MCA on gradient-echo imaging. Underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis was determined by conventional angiography. The sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and accuracy of the negative susceptibility vessel sign for predicting the presence of underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis were assessed.

RESULTS:

The negative susceptibility vessel sign was identified in 42 (46.1%) of 91 patients, and 18 (19.8%) patients had an underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis responsible for acute ischemic symptoms. The negative susceptibility vessel sign was more frequently observed in patients with intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis than in those without it (100% versus 32.9%, P < .001). In the prediction of an underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis, the negative susceptibility vessel sign had 100% sensitivity, 67.1% specificity, 42.9% positive predictive value, 100% negative predictive value, and an accuracy of 73.6%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The negative susceptibility vessel sign on gradient-echo MR imaging is a sensitive marker with a high negative predictive value for the presence of an underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis in patients with acute ischemic stroke because of MCA occlusions. The susceptibility vessel sign can be used in decision-making when performing subsequent endovascular revascularization therapy in patients with acute MCA occlusions.

PMID:
25814657
DOI:
10.3174/ajnr.A4280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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