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International Stroke Conference Oral Abstracts
Session Title: Acute Neuroimaging Oral Abstracts II

Abstract 117: A Six Minute MRI Protocol for Evaluation of Acute Ischemic Stroke: Pushing the Boundaries

Originally published 2014;45:A117

    Purpose: Multimodal cerebrovascular CT and MR can now provide information about tissue viability, site of occlusion, and collateral status in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). If MRI is to compete with CT for evaluation of AIS, there is need for further improvements in acquisition speed. The purpose of this study was to establish the feasibility of a fast MR protocol with a 6 minute acquisition time for evaluation of AIS.

    Methods: Patients with suspicion of AIS and absence of MRI contraindications were prospectively enrolled. A combination of echo-planar imaging (EPI) and parallel acquisition technique were used on a 3T MR scanner to accelerate the acquisition time. The imaging protocol included: DWI (1 min), EPI-FLAIR (52 sec), EPI-GRE (50 sec), contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA) of the entire supra-aortic arteries (20 sec), and DSC perfusion (2 min). Using a modified 2-phase contrast injection scheme, high spatial resolution CE-MRA of the supra-aortic arteries was performed just before DSC perfusion without the need for additional contrast. Image analysis was performed independently by two neuroradiologists and interobserver agreement was calculated using Kappa test.

    Results: A total of 50 patients were included. Diagnostic image quality was achieved in 100% of DWI, 96% EPI-FLAIR, 98% EPI-GRE, 90% neck MRA, 96% of brain MRA, and 94% of DSC perfusion scans. Thirty eight patients (76%) had acute infarction. Using Tmax perfusion maps and applying DEFUSE criteria, 42% of patients had perfusion-diffusion mismatch with interobserver agreement of k=0.90. The mean of the signal-intensity-ratio values of the infarction on EPI-FLAIR was 1.08 for patients presenting < 4.5 hours (n=16) and 1.35 for patients presenting > 4.5 hours (n=22) from the time of imaging. Three patients had evidence of intracranial hemorrhage detected on EPI-GRE and confirmed by non-contrast CT. CE-MRA showed 27 segmental stenoses of the extra-cranial arteries and 24 segmental stenoses of the intracranial arteries with interobserver agreement of k= 0.82 and 0.74 respectively.

    Conclusion: Described multimodal MR protocol is feasible for evaluation of patients with AIS and can result in significant reduction in scan time rivaling that of the multimodal CT protocol.


    Author Disclosures: K. Nael: None. R. Khan: None. G. Choudhary: None. A. Meshksar: None. T. Dumont: None. J. Tay: None. K. Drake: None. B. Coull: None.


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