Boundary and vulnerability estimation of the internal borderzone using ischemic stroke lesion mapping

Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 3;10(1):1662. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-58480-y.


Distinction between deep and superficial middle cerebral artery (MCA) territories and their junctional vascular area (the internal borderzone or IBZ) constitutes a predictor of stroke patient outcome. However, the IBZ boundaries are not well-defined because of substantial anatomical variance. Here, we built a statistical estimate of the IBZ and tested its vulnerability to ischemia using an independent sample. First, we used delineated lesions of 122 patients suffering of chronic ischemic stroke grouped in deep, superficial and territorial topographies and statistical comparisons to generate a probabilistic estimate of the IBZ. The IBZ extended from the insular cortex to the internal capsule and the anterior part of the caudate nucleus head. The IBZ showed the highest lesion frequencies (~30% on average across IBZ voxels) in our chronic stroke patients but also in an independent sample of 87 acute patients. Additionally, the most important apparent diffusion coefficient reductions (-6%), which reflect stroke severity, were situated within our IBZ estimate. The IBZ was most severely injured in case of a territorial infarction. Then, our results are in favour of an increased IBZ vulnerability to ischemia. Moreover, our probabilistic estimates of deep, superficial and IBZ regions can help the everyday spatial classification of lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Models, Statistical
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*