Ernst M, Forkert ND, Brehmer L, Thomalla G, Siemonsen S, Fiehler J, Kemmling A.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In proximal anterior circulation occlusive strokes, collateral flow is essential for good outcome. Collateralized vessel intensity in TOF- and contrast-enhanced MRA is variable due to different acquisition methods. Our purpose was to quantify collateral supply by using flow-weighted signal in TOF-MRA and blood volume-weighted signal in contrast-enhanced MRA to determine each predictive contribution to tissue infarction and reperfusion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Consecutively (2009-2013), 44 stroke patients with acute proximal anterior circulation occlusion met the inclusion criteria with TOF- and contrast-enhanced MRA and penumbral imaging. Collateralized vessels in the ischemic hemisphere were assessed by TOF- and contrast-enhanced MRA using 2 methods: 1) visual 3-point collateral scoring, and 2) collateral signal quantification by an arterial atlas-based collateral index. Collateral measures were tested by receiver operating characteristic curve and logistic regression against 2 imaging end points of tissue-outcome: final infarct volume and percentage of penumbra saved. RESULTS: Visual collateral scores on contrast-enhanced MRA but not TOF were significantly higher in patients with good outcome. Visual collateral scoring on contrast-enhanced MRA was the best rater-based discriminator for final infarct volume < 90 mL (area under the curve, 0.81; P < .01) and percentage of penumbra saved >50% (area under the curve, 0.67; P = .04). Atlas-based collateral index of contrast-enhanced MRA was the overall best independent discriminator for final infarct volume of <90 mL (area under the curve, 0.94; P < .01). Atlas-based collateral index combining the signal of TOF- and contrast-enhanced MRA was the overall best discriminator for effective reperfusion (percentage of penumbra saved >50%; area under the curve, 0.89; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Visual scoring of contrast-enhanced but not TOF-MRA is a reliable predictor of infarct outcome in stroke patients with proximal arterial occlusion. By atlas-based collateral assessment, TOF- and contrast-enhanced MRA both contain predictive signal information for penumbral reperfusion. This could improve risk stratification in further studies.

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2015;36:275-82.

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