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Radiology. 2016 Jun;279(3):876-87. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2015150319. Epub 2016 Jan 18.

Whole-Brain CT Perfusion to Quantify Acute Ischemic Penumbra and Core.

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From the School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia (L.L., A.B., V.K., C.R.L., M.W.P.); and Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia (V.K., C.R.L., M.W.P.).


Purpose To validate the use of perfusion computed tomography (CT) with whole-brain coverage to measure the ischemic penumbra and core and to compare its performance to that of limited-coverage perfusion CT. Materials and Methods Institutional ethics committee approval and informed consent were obtained. Patients (n = 296) who underwent 320-detector CT perfusion within 6 hours of the onset of ischemic stroke were studied. First, the ischemic volume at CT perfusion was compared with the penumbra and core reference values at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to derive CT perfusion penumbra and core thresholds. Second, the thresholds were tested in a different group of patients to predict the final infarction at diffusion-weighted imaging 24 hours after CT perfusion. Third, the change in ischemic volume delineated by the optimal penumbra and core threshold was determined as the brain coverage was gradually reduced from 160 mm to 20 mm. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test, concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), and analysis of variance were used for the first, second, and third steps, respectively. Results CT perfusion at penumbra and core thresholds resulted in the least volumetric difference from MR imaging reference values with delay times greater than 3 seconds and delay-corrected cerebral blood flow of less than 30% (P = .34 and .33, respectively). When the thresholds were applied to the new group of patients, prediction of the final infarction was allowed with delay times greater than 3 seconds in patients with no recanalization of the occluded artery (CCC, 0.96 [95% confidence interval: 0.92, 0.98]) and with delay-corrected cerebral blood flow less than 30% in patients with complete recanalization (CCC, 0.91 [95% confidence interval: 0.83, 0.95]). However, the ischemic volume with a delay time greater than 3 seconds was underestimated when the brain coverage was reduced to 80 mm (P = .04) and the core volume measured as cerebral blood flow less than 30% was underestimated when brain coverage was 40 mm or less (P < .0001). Conclusion Correct threshold setting and whole-brain coverage CT perfusion allowed differentiation of the penumbra from the ischemic core in patients with acute ischemic stroke. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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