Objectives: To investigate the ability of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) to predict stroke evolution in comparison with perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI).
Methods: In a retrospective analysis of 15 patients with non-lacunar ischaemic stroke studied no later than 24 h after symptom onset, we used the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) to compare lesions on initial diffusion-weighted images (DWI), SWI, PWI and follow-up studies obtained at least 5 days after symptom onset. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores at entry and stroke risk factors were documented. The clinical-DWI, SWI-DWI and PWI-DWI mismatches were calculated.
Results: SWI-DWI and mean transit time (MTT)-DWI mismatches were significantly associated with higher incidence of infarct growth (P = 0.007 and 0.028) and had similar ability to predict stroke evolution (P = 1.0). ASPECTS values on initial DWI, SWI and PWI were significantly correlated with those on follow-up studies (P ≤ 0.026) but not associated with infarct growth. The SWI ASPECTS values were best correlated with MTT ones (ρ = 0.8, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: SWI is an alternative to PWI to assess penumbra and predict stroke evolution. Further prospective studies are needed to evaluate the role of SWI in guiding thrombolytic therapy. Key Points • SWI can provide perfusion information comparable to MTT • SWI-DWI mismatch can indicate ischaemic penumbra • SWI-DWI mismatch can be a predictor for stroke evolution.