Decreased oxygen saturation in asymmetrically prominent cortical veins (APCV) seen in ischemic stroke has been hypothesized to correlate with an increase of de-oxygenated hemoglobin. Our goal is to quantify magnetic susceptibility to define APCV by establishing a cutoff above which the deoxyhemoglobin levels are considered abnormal. A retrospective study was conducted on 26 patients with acute ischemic stroke in one cerebral hemisphere that exhibited APCV with 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) was used to calculate the magnetic susceptibility of the cortical veins. A paired t-test was used to compare the susceptibility of the cortical veins in the left and right hemispheres for healthy controls as well as in the contralateral hemisphere for stroke patients with APCV. The change in oxygen saturation in the APCV relative to the contralateral side was calculated after thresholding the susceptibility using the mean plus two standard deviations of the contralateral side for each individual. The thresholded susceptibility value of the APCVs in the stroke hemisphere was 254±48 ppb which was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that in the contralateral hemisphere (123±12 ppb) and in healthy controls (125±8 ppb). There was a decrease of oxygen saturation in the APCV ranging from 16% to 44% relative to the veins of the contralateral hemisphere. In conclusion, APCV seen in SWI correspond to reduced levels of oxygen saturation and these abnormal veins can be identified using a susceptibility threshold on the QSM data.
Keywords: Ischemic stroke; Oxygen saturation; Susceptibility mapping; Susceptibility weighted imaging.
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