Prediction of Subacute Infarct Size in Acute Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke: Comparison of Perfusion-weighted Imaging and Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Maps

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Prediction based on apparent diffusion coefficients was as efficient as that based on perfusion-weighted (PW) imaging to estimate subsequent infarct growth and was more stable than the PW imaging-based method within and above the therapeutic window of 4 hours 30 minutes to assess subacute infarct size.


To compare perfusion-weighted (PW) imaging and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps in prediction of infarct size and growth in patients with acute middle cerebral artery infarct.

Materials and Methods

This study was approved by the local institutional review board. Written informed consent was obtained from all 80 patients. Subsequent infarct volume and growth on follow-up magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained within 6 days were compared with the predictions based on PW images by using a time-to-peak threshold greater than 4 seconds and ADC maps obtained less than 12 hours after middle cerebral artery infarct. ADC- and PW imaging–predicted infarct growth areas and infarct volumes were correlated with subsequent infarct growth and follow-up diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging volumes. The impact of MR imaging time delay on the correlation coefficient between the predicted and subsequent infarct volumes and individual predictions of infarct growth by using receiver operating characteristic curves were assessed.


The infarct volume measurements were highly reproducible (concordance correlation coefficient [CCC] of 0.965 and 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.949, 0.976 for acute DW imaging; CCC of 0.995 and 95% CI: 0.993, 0.997 for subacute DW imaging). The subsequent infarct volume correlated (P < .0001) with ADC- (ρ = 0.853) and PW imaging- (ρ = 0.669) predicted volumes. The correlation was higher for ADC-predicted volume than for PW imaging-predicted volume (P < .005), but not when the analysis was restricted to patients without recanalization (P = .07). The infarct growth correlated (P < .0001) with PW imaging-DW imaging mismatch (ρ = 0.470) and ADC-DW imaging mismatch (ρ = 0.438), without significant differences between both methods (P = .71). The correlations were similar among time delays with ADC-predicted volumes but decreased with PW imaging-based volumes beyond the therapeutic window. Accuracies of ADC- and PW imaging–based predictions of infarct growth in an individual prediction were similar (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] of 0.698 and 95% CI: 0.585, 0.796 vs AUC of 0.749 and 95% CI: 0.640, 0.839; P = .48).


The ADC-based method was as accurate as the PW imaging–based method for evaluating infarct growth and size in the subacute phase.

© RSNA, 2012

Supplemental material:


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Article History

Received November 13, 2011; revision requested January 27, 2012; revision received March 4; accepted March 28; final version accepted April 27.
Published online: Nov 2012
Published in print: Nov 2012