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MRI Assessment of Ischemic Lesion Evolution within White and Gray Matter

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Background: In acute ischemic stroke (AIS), gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) have different vulnerabilities to ischemia. Thus, we compared the evolution of ischemic lesions within WM and GM using MRI. Methods: From a European multicenter prospective database (I-KNOW), available T1-weighted images were identified for 50 patients presenting with an anterior AIS and a perfusion weighted imaging (PWI)/diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) mismatch ratio of 1.2 or more. Six lesion compartments were outlined: initial DWI (b = 1,000 s/mm2) lesion, initial PWI-DWI mismatch (Tmax >4 s and DWI-negative), final infarct mapped on 1-month fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging, lesion growth between acute DWI and 1-month FLAIR, DWI lesion reversal at 1 month and salvaged mismatch. The WM and GM were segmented on T1-weighted images, and all images were co-registered within subjects to the baseline MRI. WM and GM proportions were calculated for each compartment. Results: Fifty patients were eligible for the study. Median delay between symptom onset and baseline MRI was 140 min. The percentage of WM was significantly greater in the following compartments: initial mismatch (52.5 vs. 47.5%, p = 0.003), final infarct (56.7 vs. 43.3%, p < 0.001) and lesion growth (58.9 vs. 41.2%, p < 0.001). No significant difference was found between GM and WM percentages within the initial DWI lesion, DWI reversal and salvaged mismatch compartments. Conclusions: Ischemic lesions may extend preferentially within the WM. Specific therapeutic strategies targeting WM ischemic processes may deserve further investigation.

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Most cited references 17

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A universal scaling law between gray matter and white matter of cerebral cortex.

Neocortex, a new and rapidly evolving brain structure in mammals, has a similar layered architecture in species over a wide range of brain sizes. Larger brains require longer fibers to communicate between distant cortical areas; the volume of the white matter that contains long axons increases disproportionally faster than the volume of the gray matter that contains cell bodies, dendrites, and axons for local information processing, according to a power law. The theoretical analysis presented here shows how this remarkable anatomical regularity might arise naturally as a consequence of the local uniformity of the cortex and the requirement for compact arrangement of long axonal fibers. The predicted power law with an exponent of 4/3 minus a small correction for the thickness of the cortex accurately accounts for empirical data spanning several orders of magnitude in brain sizes for various mammalian species, including human and nonhuman primates.
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Optimal Tmax threshold for predicting penumbral tissue in acute stroke.

We sought to assess whether the volume of the ischemic penumbra can be estimated more accurately by altering the threshold selected for defining perfusion-weighting imaging (PWI) lesions. DEFUSE is a multicenter study in which consecutive acute stroke patients were treated with intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator 3 to 6 hours after stroke onset. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained before, 3 to 6 hours after, and 30 days after treatment. Baseline and posttreatment PWI volumes were defined according to increasing Tmax delay thresholds (>2, >4, >6, and >8 seconds). Penumbra salvage was defined as the difference between the baseline PWI lesion and the final infarct volume (30-day fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequence). We hypothesized that the optimal PWI threshold would provide the strongest correlations between penumbra salvage volumes and various clinical and imaging-based outcomes. Thirty-three patients met the inclusion criteria. The correlation between infarct growth and penumbra salvage volume was significantly better for PWI lesions defined by Tmax >6 seconds versus Tmax >2 seconds, as was the difference in median penumbra salvage volume in patients with a favorable versus an unfavorable clinical response. Among patients who did not experience early reperfusion, the Tmax >4 seconds threshold provided a more accurate prediction of final infarct volume than the >2 seconds threshold. Defining PWI lesions based on a stricter Tmax threshold than the standard >2 seconds delay appears to provide more a reliable estimate of the volume of the ischemic penumbra in stroke patients imaged between 3 and 6 hours after symptom onset. A threshold between 4 and 6 seconds appears optimal for early identification of critically hypoperfused tissue.
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MR perfusion and diffusion in acute ischemic stroke: human gray and white matter have different thresholds for infarction.

It is thought that gray and white matter (GM and WM) have different perfusion and diffusion thresholds for cerebral infarction in humans. We sought to determine these thresholds with voxel-by-voxel, tissue-specific analysis of co-registered acute and follow-up magnetic resonance (MR) perfusion- and diffusion-weighted imaging. Quantitative cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral blood volume (CBV), mean transit time (MTT), and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were analyzed from nine acute stroke patients (imaging acquired within 6 h of onset). The average values of each measure were calculated for GM and WM in normally perfused tissue, the region of recovered tissue and in the final infarct. Perfusion and diffusion thresholds for infarction were determined on a patient-by-patient basis in GM and WM separately by selecting thresholds with equal sensitivities and specificities. Gray matter has higher thresholds for infarction than WM (P<0.009) for CBF (20.0 mL/100 g min in GM and 12.3 mL/100 g min in WM), CBV (2.4 mL/100 g in GM and 1.7 mL/100 g in WM), and ADC (786 x 10(-6) mm(2)/s in GM and 708 x 10(-6) mm(2)/s in WM). The MTT threshold for infarction in GM is lower (P=0.014) than for WM (6.8 secs in GM and 7.1 secs in WM). A single common threshold applied to both tissues overestimates tissue at risk in WM and underestimates tissue at risk in GM. This study suggests that tissue-specific analysis of perfusion and diffusion imaging is required to accurately predict tissue at risk of infarction in acute ischemic stroke.

Author and article information

aDepartment of Neuroradiology, bDepartment of Stroke Medicine, and cPôle Information Médicale Evaluation Recherche, Hospices Civils de Lyon, dCREATIS, CNRS UMR 5220-INSERM U1044, Université Lyon 1 INSA-Lyon, Lyon, and eINSERM U894, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France; fCenter of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Århus University, Aarhus, Denmark; gKlinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie, Kopf- und Neurozentrum, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; hDepartment of Radiology (IDI), Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBGI), Hospital Universitari de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta, Girona, Spain; iDepartment of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Cerebrovasc Dis
Cerebrovascular Diseases
Cerebrovasc Dis
S. Karger AG (Basel, Switzerland )
April 2016
12 February 2016
: 41
: 5-6
: 291-297
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel

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