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      Acute MRI Changes in Progressive Ischemic Stroke

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          Background and Purpose: Neurological deterioration following acute stroke is common and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are not fully understood, and it is difficult to predict which patients are at risk of deterioration. Our study aimed to assess if acute MRI findings could be used for the prediction of stroke in progression (SIP). Methods: Prospectively 41 patients, 13 with lacunar infarcts and 28 with territorial infarcts, were admitted to an acute stroke unit within 24 h of stroke onset (median 11 h, range 3– 22). Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), perfusion-weighted imaging and magnetic resonance angiography were performed 3 times, immediately after clinical evaluation, on day 7 and after 3 months. Clinical neurological assessments were performed every 2 h during the first 24 h and once daily from day 2 to 7. SIP was defined as a permanent decrease of ≧3 Scandinavian Stroke Scale (SSS) points for speech or ≧2 SSS points for consciousness or ≧2 SSS points for limb strength, when assessed at baseline compared to the day after admission and daily during the following week. Patients were followed up on day 90 and assessed using the modified Rankin Scale, Barthel Index and SSS score. Patients with and without SIP were compared using both clinical and MRI data obtained on admission, on day 7 and after 3 months. Results: Fifteen patients (37%) developed SIP. Increased DWI lesion volume on day 7 in all strokes was associated with SIP (χ<sup>2</sup>, p = 0.005). All lacunar infarcts with a DWI volume >1.5 cm<sup>3</sup> at baseline (4 patients) developed SIP (p < 0.005). Patients with territorial infarcts and SIP had lower baseline SSS scores with severer symptoms than non-SIP patients (p ≤ 0.05). Despite trends in MRI differences at baseline, only the baseline SSS score in patients with territorial infarcts remained an independent predictor of SIP, when using a logistic regression model (p < 0.05). Conclusions: These findings suggest that SIP is due to growth of the lesion volume from baseline to day 7. In patients with lacunar infarcts, there was an association between initial lesion size and risk of developing SIP. However, for territorial infarcts, baseline SSS was found to be the best individual predictor of SIP and clinical outcome.

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          Most cited references 16

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          High resolution measurement of cerebral blood flow using intravascular tracer bolus passages. Part I: Mathematical approach and statistical analysis.

          The authors review the theoretical basis of determination of cerebral blood flow (CBF) using dynamic measurements of nondiffusible contrast agents, and demonstrate how parametric and nonparametric deconvolution techniques can be modified for the special requirements of CBF determination using dynamic MRI. Using Monte Carlo modeling, the use of simple, analytical residue models is shown to introduce large errors in flow estimates when actual, underlying vascular characteristics are not sufficiently described by the chosen function. The determination of the shape of the residue function on a regional basis is shown to be possible only at high signal-to-noise ratio. Comparison of several nonparametric deconvolution techniques showed that a nonparametric deconvolution technique (singular value decomposition) allows estimation of flow relatively independent of underlying vascular structure and volume even at low signal-to-noise ratio associated with pixel-by-pixel deconvolution.
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            Viability thresholds and the penumbra of focal ischemia.

             K Hossmann (1994)
            The classic concept of the viability thresholds of ischemia differentiates between two critical flow rates, the threshold of electrical failure and the threshold of membrane failure. These thresholds mark the upper and lower flow limits of the ischemic penumbra which is thought to suffer only functional but not structural injury. Recent studies of the functional and metabolic disturbances suggest a more complex pattern of thresholds. At declining flow rates, protein synthesis is inhibited at first (at a threshold of about 0.55 ml/gm/min), followed by a stimulation of anaerobic glycolysis (at 0.35 ml/gm/min), the release of neurotransmitters and the beginning disturbance of energy metabolism (at about 0.20 ml/min), and finally the anoxic depolarization (< 0.15 ml/gm/min). The penumbra, as defined by the classic flow thresholds, does not remain viable for extended periods. Since viability of the tissue requires maintenance of energy-dependent metabolic processes, penumbra is redefined as a region of constrained blood supply in which the energy metabolism is preserved. Imaging of the penumbra by combining autoradiographic cerebral blood flow measurements with bioluminescent images of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) demonstrates a gradual expansion of the infarct core (in which ATP is depleted) into the penumbra until, after a few hours, the penumbra has disappeared. It is suggested that the limited survival of the penumbra is due to periinfarct depolarizations, which result in repeated episodes of tissue hypoxia, because the increased metabolic workload is not coupled to an adequate increase of collateral blood supply. This explains pharmacological suppression of periinfarct depolarizations lowering the threshold of metabolic disturbances and reducing the volume of the ischemic infarct.
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              The Desmoteplase in Acute Ischemic Stroke Trial (DIAS): a phase II MRI-based 9-hour window acute stroke thrombolysis trial with intravenous desmoteplase.

              Most acute ischemic stroke patients arrive after the 3-hour time window for recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) administration. The Desmoteplase In Acute Ischemic Stroke trial (DIAS) was a dose-finding randomized trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravenous desmoteplase, a highly fibrin-specific and nonneurotoxic thrombolytic agent, administered within 3 to 9 hours of ischemic stroke onset in patients with perfusion/diffusion mismatch on MRI. DIAS was a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, dose-finding phase II trial. Patients with National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores of 4 to 20 and MRI evidence of perfusion/diffusion mismatch were eligible. Of 104 patients, the first 47 (referred to as Part 1) were randomized to fixed doses of desmoteplase (25 mg, 37.5 mg, or 50 mg) or placebo. Because of an excessive rate of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH), lower weight-adjusted doses escalating through 62.5 microg/kg, 90 microg/kg, and 125 microg/kg were subsequently investigated in 57 patients (referred to as Part 2). The safety endpoint was the rate of sICH. Efficacy endpoints were the rate of reperfusion on MRI after 4 to 8 hours and clinical outcome as assessed by NIHSS, modified Rankin scale, and Barthel Index at 90 days. Part 1 was terminated prematurely because of high rates of sICH with desmoteplase (26.7%). In Part 2, the sICH rate was 2.2%. No sICH occurred with placebo in either part. Reperfusion rates up to 71.4% (P=0.0012) were observed with desmoteplase (125 microg/kg) compared with 19.2% with placebo. Favorable 90-day clinical outcome was found in 22.2% of placebo-treated patients and between 13.3% (62.5 microg/kg; P=0.757) and 60.0% (125 microg/kg; P=0.0090) of desmoteplase-treated patients. Early reperfusion correlated favorably with clinical outcome (P=0.0028). Favorable outcome occurred in 52.5% of patients experiencing reperfusion versus 24.6% of patients without reperfusion. Intravenous desmoteplase administered 3 to 9 hours after acute ischemic stroke in patients selected with perfusion/diffusion mismatch is associated with a higher rate of reperfusion and better clinical outcome compared with placebo. The sICH rate with desmoteplase was low, using doses up to 125 microg/kg.

                Author and article information

                Eur Neurol
                European Neurology
                S. Karger AG
                April 2008
                08 February 2008
                : 59
                : 5
                : 229-236
                aDanish Research Center of Magnetic Resonance, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, bNeurobiology Research Unit and cDepartment of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, and dDepartment of Neurology, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
                115636 Eur Neurol 2008;59:229–236
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 30, Pages: 8
                Original Paper


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