Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery vascular hyperintensity: an early predictor of clinical outcome in proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion

Arch Neurol. 2012 Nov;69(11):1462-8. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2012.1310.


Background: Few data are available on the relationship between fluid-attenuated inversion recovery vascular hyperintensities and proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion prognosis.

Objectives: To assess a fluid-attenuated inversion recovery vascular hyperintensities score (FVHS) and explore its relationship with recanalization status and clinical outcomes after intravenous thrombolysis.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Stroke unit in a university hospital.

Patients: Consecutive patients with proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion, thrombolysed within 6 hours, were selected from our prospective database. The FVHS (range,0-10; divided into low, medium, and high thirds) was quantified on the magnetic resonance image obtained at admission. Recanalization rates, infarction size (Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score applied to diffusion weighted imaging [ASPECTS-DWI]), and 3-month functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score) were determined. Poor outcomes and large infarctions were defined as a modified Rankin Scale score higher than 2and an ASPECTS-DWI score of 5 or lower, respectively.

Main outcome measures: Interaction among FVHS,recanalization status, and outcomes.

Results: Thirty-four patients had a low FVHS (4), 32 had a medium FVHS (5 or 6), and 39 had a high FVHS (≥7). The rate of poor functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score >2) was higher for the group with low FVHSs than those with medium FVHSs and high FVHSs(82.3% vs 43.7% and 43.5%, respectively; P.001). Therate of 24-hour large infarctions(ASPECTS-DWI score 5)was higher for those with low FVHSs than those with medium and high FVHSs (88.2% vs 56.2% and 51.3%, respectively;P=.002). The recanalization rate was not associated with FVHS. Multivariate analysis retained low FVHS as an independent early predictor of poor clinical outcome (odds ratio=9.91; 95% CI, 2.01-48.93; P=.004)and large infarction (odds ratio=6.99; 95% CI, 1.78-27.46; P=.005).Low FVHS remained associated with poor outcomes regardless of recanalization status. Early recanalization in patients with a low FVHS decreased the poor functional outcome rate from 100% to 64.7% (P=.02).

Conclusions: The FVHS is an early independent prognostic marker for patients with proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion. Synergy between FVHS and recanalization status appears to be a critical determinant of final outcomes, supporting intensive reperfusion treatment for patients with a low FVHS.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnosis*
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome