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Arch Neurol. 1994 Sep;51(9):865-73.

Spontaneous reperfusion of cerebral infarcts in patients with acute stroke. Incidence, time course, and clinical outcome in the Copenhagen Stroke Study.

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1
Department of Neurology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the incidence, time course, and clinical importance of spontaneous reperfusion of cerebral infarcts in patients with acute stroke.

DESIGN:

Prospective, community based.

SETTING:

Department of Neurology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

PATIENTS:

Included in the incidence and time course study were 354 unselected patients with acute ischemic stroke. Clinical outcome was studied in a subgroup of 36 patients admitted on the day of stroke onset and in whom it was known whether spontaneous reperfusion occurred within the first week after stroke onset.

MEASUREMENTS:

Computed tomography and single photon emission computed tomography, with technetium Tc 99m exametazime used as a flow tracer. The Scandinavian Stroke Scale neurologic score was determined on admission, 1 and 2 weeks after stroke, and at discharge.

RESULTS:

The incidence of spontaneous reperfusion was 77% in patients with cortical infarcts. The frequency of reperfusion increased rapidly from zero at the time of onset to 60% on day 7 after stroke, reaching a maximum on day 14, at which time 77% showed reperfusion. Marked clinical improvement was observed in patients with spontaneous reperfusion (P = .001), while no improvement occurred in patients without reperfusion. Reperfusion was not observed in subcortical infarcts.

CONCLUSIONS:

The rate of spontaneous reperfusion increases gradually with time and occurs within the first 2 weeks after stroke onset in approximately four of five patients with cortical infarcts. Spontaneous reperfusion seemed to improve clinical outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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