Middle cerebral artery (MCA) susceptibility sign at susceptibility-based perfusion MR imaging: clinical importance and comparison with hyperdense MCA sign at CT

Radiology. 2000 May;215(2):476-82. doi: 10.1148/radiology.215.2.r00ma09476.


Purpose: To describe the radiologic findings of susceptibility changes in acute middle cerebral artery (MCA) thromboembolism detected with three-dimensional (3D) susceptibility-based perfusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to compare the detectability and clinical value of this sign with those of the hyperdense MCA sign at computed tomography (CT).

Materials and methods: Twenty-three patients (mean age, 55 years) underwent CT and MR imaging within the first 6 hours after the onset of acute MCA stroke. The hyperdense MCA sign at CT and the presence of susceptibility changes in acute thromboembolism as depicted on T2*-weighted 3D perfusion MR images were assessed. The presence of each sign was correlated with clinical presentation.

Results: The sensitivity of the hyperdense MCA sign at CT was 54% (negative predictive value, 71%) compared with 82% (negative predictive value, 86%) for the susceptibility changes at MR imaging. There were no false-positive CT or MR readings. The presence of the MCA susceptibility sign correlated positively with the initial clinical presentation (chi(2) = 7.987, P =.009, Spearman rho = 0.589). However, neither of the signs was a predictor for clinical outcome in cases of spontaneous MCA stroke.

Conclusion: In addition to the information traditionally provided with reconstructed perfusion parameter maps, 3D susceptibility-based perfusion MR images allow the identification of acute MCA thromboembolism with a sensitivity higher than that of CT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnosis
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnosis
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome