Decreased hyperintense vessels on FLAIR images after endovascular recanalization of symptomatic internal carotid artery occlusion

Eur J Radiol. 2012 Jul;81(7):1595-600. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.04.026. Epub 2011 May 5.


Background and purpose: Hyperintense vessels (HV) on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images were assumed to be explained by slow antegrade or retrograde leptomeningeal collateral flow related to extracranial or intracranial artery steno-occlusion. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of recanalization after endovascular therapy of symptomatic internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion on the presence of HV.

Methods: Eleven patients with symptomatic ICA occlusion were retrospectively enrolled. Changes in the HV on FLAIR images were examined in affected hemisphere of each patient after successful treatment with endovascular recanalization (angioplasty, n = 3; stent-assisted angioplasty, n = 8). The relationship between postoperative changes in the HV and Thrombolysis In Cerebral Ischemia (TICI) scale (I-III) was assessed.

Results: After operation, HV of the 11 affected hemispheres were showed to be decreased (n = 3) or disappeared (n = 8) in treated side. The median interval between pre- and postoperative MRI examinations was 97.0 h (range, from 69. to 48.7h). Of the 8 patients with disappeared HV, 7 achieved high TICI grade flow (III) and 1 had relatively low TICI grade flow (IIc) in treated side. However, all the 3 patients with decreased HV were found to be relatively low TICI grade flow (IIc).

Conclusion: Our data indicate that endovascular recanalization of ICA occlusion was effective for decreasing HV. Postoperative decrease in HV can be considered as a marker for hemodynamic improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty / methods*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal*
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery*
  • Collateral Circulation*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome