Diffusion-Weighted Imaging Lesion Reversal in Older Patients With Stroke Treated With Mechanical Thrombectomy

Stroke. 2023 Jul;54(7):1823-1829. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.123.042491. Epub 2023 May 19.


Background: Diffusion-weighted imaging lesion reversal (DWIR) is frequently observed after mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but little is known about age-related differences and impact on outcome. We aimed to compare, in patients <80 versus ≥80 years old, (1) the effect of successful recanalization on DWIR and (2) the impact of DWIR on functional outcome.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data of patients treated for an anterior circulation acute ischemic stroke with large vessel occlusion in 2 French hospitals, who underwent baseline and 24-hour follow-up magnetic resonance imaging, with baseline DWI lesion volume ≥10 cc. The percentage of DWIR (DWIR%), was calculated as follows: DWIR%=(DWIR volume/baseline DWI volume)×100. Data on demographics, medical history, and baseline clinical and radiological characteristics were collected.

Results: Among 433 included patients (median age, 68 years), median DWIR% after mechanical thrombectomy was 22% (6-35) in patients ≥80, and 19% (interquartile range, 10-34) in patients <80 (P=0.948). In multivariable analyses, successful recanalization after mechanical thrombectomy was associated with higher median DWIR% in both ≥80 (P=0.004) and <80 (P=0.002) patients. In subgroup analyses performed on a minority of subjects, collateral vessels status score (n=87) and white matter hyperintensity volume (n=131) were not associated with DWIR% (P>0.2). In multivariable analyses, DWIR% was associated with increased rates of favorable 3-month outcomes in both ≥80 (P=0.003) and <80 (P=0.013) patients; the effect of DWIR% on outcome was not influenced by the age group (P interaction=0.185) Conclusions: DWIR might be an important and nonage-dependent effect of arterial recanalization, as it seems to beneficially impact 3-month outcomes of both younger and older subjects treated with mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke and large vessel occlusion.

Keywords: aging; ischemic stroke; magnetic resonance imaging; thrombectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia* / surgery
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke* / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke* / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke* / surgery
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome