Background and purpose: We describe clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of stroke patients with unknown time of symptom onset potentially eligible for thrombolysis from a large prospective cohort.
Methods: We analyzed baseline data from WAKE-UP (Efficacy and Safety of MRI-Based Thrombolysis in Wake-Up Stroke: A Randomized, Doubleblind, Placebo-Controlled Trial), an investigator-initiated, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of MRI-based thrombolysis in stroke patients with unknown time of symptom onset. MRI judgment included assessment of the mismatch between visibility of the acute ischemic lesion on diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery.
Results: Of 1005 patients included, diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery mismatch was present in 479 patients (48.0%). Patients with daytime-unwitnessed stroke (n=138, 13.7%) had a shorter delay between symptom recognition and hospital arrival (1.5 versus 1.8 hours; P=0.002), a higher National Institutes of Stroke Scale score on admission (8 versus 6; P<0.001), and more often aphasia (72.5% versus 34.0%; P<0.001) when compared with stroke patients waking up from nighttime sleep. Frequency of diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery mismatch was comparable between both groups (43.7% versus 48.7%; P=0.30).
Conclusions: Almost half of the patients with unknown time of symptom onset stroke otherwise eligible for thrombolysis had MRI findings making them likely to be within a time window for safe and effective thrombolysis. Patients with daytime onset unwitnessed stroke differ from wake-up stroke patients with regards to clinical characteristics but are comparable in terms of MRI characteristics of lesion age.
Clinical trial registration: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01525290. URL: https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu. Unique identifier: 2011-005906-32.
Keywords: aphasia; informed consent; magnetic resonance imaging; risk factors; stroke.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.