Cheng B, Forkert ND, Zavaglia M, Hilgetag CC, Golsari A, Siemonsen S, Fiehler J, Pedraza S, Puig J, Cho TH, Alawneh J, Baron JC, Ostergaard L, Gerloff C, Thomalla G.BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In the early days after ischemic stroke, information on structural brain damage from MRI supports prognosis of functional outcome. It is rated widely by the modified Rankin Scale that correlates only moderately with lesion volume. We therefore aimed to elucidate the influence of lesion location from early MRI (days 2-3) on functional outcome after 1 month using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping. METHODS: We analyzed clinical and MRI data of patients from a prospective European multicenter stroke imaging study (I-KNOW). Lesions were delineated on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images on days 2 to 3 after stroke onset. We generated statistic maps of lesion contribution related to clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale) after 1 month using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping. RESULTS: Lesion maps of 101 patients with middle cerebral artery infarctions were included for analysis (right-sided stroke, 47%). Mean age was 67 years, median admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 11. Mean infarct volumes were comparable between both sides (left, 37.5 mL; right, 43.7 mL). Voxel-based lesion symptom mapping revealed areas with high influence on higher modified Rankin Scale in regions involving the corona radiata, internal capsule, and insula. In addition, asymmetrically distributed impact patterns were found involving the right inferior temporal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus. CONCLUSIONS: In this group of patients with stroke, characteristic lesion patterns in areas of motor control and areas involved in lateralized brain functions on early MRI were found to influence functional outcome. Our data provide a novel map of the impact of lesion localization on functional stroke outcome as measured by the modified Rankin Scale.
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