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The aim was to assess the ability of post-treatment diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to predict 90-day functional outcome in patients with endovascular therapy (EVT) for large vessel occlusion in acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
We examined a retrospective cohort from March 2016 to January 2018, of consecutive patients with AIS who received EVT. Planimetric DWI was obtained and infarct volume calculated. Four blinded readers were asked to predict modified Rankin Score (mRS) at 90 days post-thrombectomy.
Fifty-one patients received endovascular treatment (mean age 65.1 years, median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) 18). Mean infarct volume was 43.7 mL. The baseline NIHSS, 24-hour NIHSS, and the DWI volume were lower for the mRS 0–2 group. Also, the thrombolysis in cerebral infarction (TICI) 2b/3 rate was higher in the mRS 0–2 group. No differences were found in terms of the occlusion level, reperfusion technique, or recombinant tissue plasminogen activator use. There was a significant association noted between average infarct volume and mRS at 90 days. On multivariable analysis, higher infarct volume was significantly associated with 90-day mRS 3–5 when adjusted to TICI scores and occlusion location (OR 1.01; CI 95% 1.001–1.03; p = 0.008). Area under curve analysis showed poor performance of DWI volume reader ability to qualitatively predict 90-day mRS.
The subjective impression of DWI as a predictor of clinical outcome is poorly correlated when controlling for premorbid status and other confounders. Qualitative DWI by experienced readers both overestimated the severity of stroke for patients who achieved good recovery and underestimated the mRS for poor outcome patients. Infarct core quantitation was reliable.
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