Distal hyperintense vessel sign is associated with neurological deterioration in acute ischaemic stroke

Eur J Neurol. 2017 Apr;24(4):617-623. doi: 10.1111/ene.13259. Epub 2017 Feb 22.


Background and purpose: The aim was to evaluate the relationship between distal hyperintense vessel sign (HVS) and early neurological deterioration (END) in acute ischaemic stroke with large vessel steno-occlusion.

Methods: Acute ischaemic stroke patients with symptomatic severe steno-occlusion in the middle cerebral artery or internal carotid artery were recruited within 24 h from symptom onset. Stroke outcomes were evaluated using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at the time of admission and at 72 h and 7 days. END was defined as an increment of ≥1 in the motor NIHSS score or ≥2 in the total NIHSS score. Distal HVS was defined as hyperintensity on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery image, located distal to the Sylvian fissure. The extent of distal HVS was divided into absent, subtle and prominent.

Results: Amongst a total of 325 participants, END was found in 103 (32%) patients. END was associated with age, atrial fibrillation, initial NIHSS score, initial infarct volume, severe leukoaraiosis, hemorrhagic infarction and distal HVS. In multivariate analysis, distal HVS remained an independent predictor of END [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.65-4.97, P < 0.001]. Initial infarct volume (aOR = 1.01, 95% CI 1.01-1.02, P < 0.001) and severe leukoaraiosis (aOR = 3.16, 95% CI 1.77-5.65, P < 0.001) were also associated with END, independently of distal HVS. In the analysis of the burden of distal HVS and stroke outcomes, prominent distal HVS was associated with stroke severity and infarct volume in a dose-response manner.

Conclusions: Distal HVS is associated with END in acute ischaemic stroke patients with large vessel steno-occlusion.

Keywords: cerebral infarction; magnetic resonance imaging; prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukoaraiosis / complications
  • Leukoaraiosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*