Combined Use of X-ray Angiography and Intraprocedural MRI Enables Tissue-based Decision Making Regarding Revascularization during Acute Ischemic Stroke Intervention

Radiology. 2021 Apr;299(1):167-176. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2021202750. Epub 2021 Feb 9.


Background For patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing endovascular mechanical thrombectomy with x-ray angiography, the use of adjuncts to maintain vessel patency, such as stents or antiplatelet medications, can increase risk of periprocedural complications. Criteria for using these adjuncts are not well defined. Purpose To evaluate use of MRI to guide critical decision making by using a combined biplane x-ray neuroangiography 3.0-T MRI suite during acute ischemic stroke intervention. Materials and Methods This retrospective observational study evaluated consecutive patients undergoing endovascular intervention for acute ischemic stroke between July 2019 and May 2020 who underwent either angiography with MRI or angiography alone. Cerebral tissue viability was assessed by using MRI as the reference standard. For statistical analysis, Fisher exact test and Student t test were used to compare groups. Results Of 47 patients undergoing acute stroke intervention, 12 patients (median age, 69 years; interquartile range, 60-77 years; nine men) underwent x-ray angiography with MRI whereas the remaining 35 patients (median age, 80 years; interquartile range, 68-86 years; 22 men) underwent angiography alone. MRI results influenced clinical decision making in one of three ways: whether or not to perform initial or additional mechanical thrombectomy, whether or not to place an intracranial stent, and administration of antithrombotic or blood pressure medications. In this initial experience, decision making during endovascular acute stroke intervention in the combined angiography-MRI suite was better informed at MRI, such that therapy was guided in real time by the viability of the at-risk cerebral tissue. Conclusion Integrating intraprocedural 3.0-T MRI into acute ischemic stroke treatment was feasible and guided decisions of whether or not to continue thrombectomy, to place stents, or to administer antithrombotic medication or provide blood pressure medications. © RSNA, 2021 Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Lev and Leslie-Mazwi in this issue.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Ischemic Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ischemic Stroke / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stroke / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy / methods*