Refinement of Imaging Predictors of Recurrent Events following Transient Ischemic Attack and Minor Stroke

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 21;8(6):e65752. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065752. Print 2013.


Background: TIA and minor stroke have a high risk of recurrent stroke. Abnormalities on CT/CTA and MRI predict recurrent events in TIA and minor stroke. However there are many other imaging abnormalities that could potentially predict outcome that have not been assessed in this population. Also the definition of recurrent events used includes deterioration due to stroke progression or recurrent stroke and whether imaging is either of these is not known.

Aims: To improve upon the clinical, CT/CTA and MRI parameters that predict recurrent events after TIA and minor stroke by assessing further imaging parameters. Secondary aim was to explore predictors of stroke progression versus recurrent stroke.

Methods: 510 consecutive TIA and minor stroke patients had CT/CTA and most had MRI. Primary outcome was recurrent events (stroke progression or recurrent stroke) within 90 days. Further imaging parameters were assessed for prediction of recurrent events (combined outcome of stroke progression and recurrent stroke). We also explored predictors of symptom progression versus recurrence individually.

Results: 36 recurrent events (36/510, 7.1% (95% CI: 5.0-9.6)) including 19 progression and 17 recurrent strokes. On CT/CTA: white matter disease, prior stroke, aortic arch focal plaque≥4 mm, or intraluminal thrombus did not predict recurrent events (progression or recurrent stroke). On MRI: white matter disease, prior stroke, and microbleeds did not predict recurrent events. Parameters predicting the individual outcome of symptom progression included: ongoing symptoms at initial assessment, symptom fluctuation, intracranial occlusion, intracranial occlusion or stenosis, and the CT/CTA metric. No parameter was strongly predictive of a distinct recurrent stroke.

Conclusions: There was no imaging parameter that could improve upon our original CT/CTA or MRI metrics to predict the combined outcome of stroke progression or a recurrent stroke after TIA and minor stroke. We are better at using imaging to predict stroke progression rather than recurrent stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging*

Grant support