A novel approach for assessing hypoperfusion in stroke using spatial independent component analysis of resting-state fMRI

Hum Brain Mapp. 2021 Nov;42(16):5204-5216. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25610. Epub 2021 Jul 29.


Individualized treatment of acute stroke depends on the timely detection of ischemia and potentially salvageable tissue in the brain. Using functional MRI (fMRI), it is possible to characterize cerebral blood flow from blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals without the administration of exogenous contrast agents. In this study, we applied spatial independent component analysis to resting-state fMRI data of 37 stroke patients scanned within 24 hr of symptom onset, 17 of whom received follow-up scans the next day. Our analysis revealed "Hypoperfusion spatially-Independent Components" (HICs) whose spatial patterns of BOLD signal resembled regions of delayed perfusion depicted by dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI. These HICs were detected even in the presence of excessive patient motion, and disappeared following successful tissue reperfusion. The unique spatial and temporal features of HICs allowed them to be distinguished with high accuracy from other components in a user-independent manner (area under the curve = 0.93, balanced accuracy = 0.90, sensitivity = 1.00, and specificity = 0.85). Our study therefore presents a new, noninvasive method for assessing blood flow in acute stroke that minimizes interpretative subjectivity and is robust to severe patient motion.

Keywords: blood oxygenation level dependent signal; perfusion; resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging; spatial independent component analysis; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Connectome / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ischemic Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged