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The study was conducted to test the hypothesis that nitroglycerin (NTG) increases cerebral perfusion focally and globally in acute ischemic stroke patients, using serial perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) magnetic resonance imaging measurements.
Patients and methods:
Thirty-five patients underwent PWI immediately before and 72 h after administration of a transdermal NTG patch or no treatment. Patients with baseline mean arterial pressure (MAP) > 100 mmHg (NTG group, n = 20) were treated with transdermal NTG (0.2 mg/h) for 72 h, without a nitrate-free interval. Patients with MAP ≤ 100 mmHg (untreated group, n = 15) were not treated. The primary outcome measure was absolute cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the hypoperfused region at 72 h.
The mean baseline absolute CBF in the hypoperfused region was similar in the NTG group (33.3 ± 10.2 ml/100 g/min) and untreated (32.7 ± 8.4 ml/100 g/min, p = 0.4) groups. The median (IQR) baseline infarct volume was 10.4 (2.5–49.3) ml in the NTG group and 32.6 (8.6–96.7) ml in the untreated group (p = 0.09). MAP change in the NTG group was 1.2 ± 12.6 and 8 ± 20.7 mmHg at 2 h and 72 h, respectively. Mean absolute CBF in the hypoperfused region at 72 h was similar in the NTG (29.9 ± 12 ml/100 g/min) and untreated groups (24.1 ± 10 ml/100 g/min, p = 0.8). The median infarct volume increased in untreated (11.8 (5.7–44.2) ml) than the NTG group (3.2 (0.5–16.5) ml; p = 0.033) on univariate analysis, however, there was no difference on regression analysis.
NTG was not associated with improvement in cerebral perfusion in acute ischemic stroke patients.
The benefit of late window endovascular treatment (EVT) for anterior circulation ischemic stroke has been demonstrated using perfusion-based neuroimaging. We evaluated whether non-contrast CT (NCCT) and CT-angiogram (CTA) alone can select late-presenting patients for EVT.
We performed a retrospective comparison of all patients undergoing EVT at a single comprehensive stroke center from January 2016 to April 2017. Patients planned for EVT were divided into early (<6 hours from onset) and late (≥6 hours from onset or last time seen normal) window groups. Incidence of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformations (sHTs) at 24 hours and 3-month modified Rankin scores (mRSs) were compared.
During the study period, 204 (82%) patients underwent EVT in the early and 44 (18%) in the late window. Median (interquartile range) NIH Stroke Scale Score was similar between groups (early: 18 [15–23] vs. late: 17 [13–21]), as were median ASPECT scores (early: 9 [8–10] vs. late: 9 [7–9]). In the late window, 42 (95%) strokes were of unknown onset. Similar proportions of sHT occurred at 24 hours (early: 12 [6%] vs. late: 4 [9%], p = 0.43). At 3 months, the proportion of patients achieving functional independence (mRS 0–2) were comparable in the early (80/192 [42%]) and late (16/41 [39%]) windows (p = 0.76).
NCCT- and CTA-based patient selection led to similar functional independence outcomes and low proportions of sHT in the early and late windows. In centers without access to perfusion-based neuroimaging, this pragmatic approach could be safe, particularly for strokes of unknown onset.
In Parkinson's disease (PD) cell loss in the substantia nigra is known to result in motor symptoms; however widespread pathological changes occur and may be associated with non-motor symptoms such as cognitive impairment. Diffusion tensor imaging is a quantitative imaging method sensitive to the micro-structure of white matter tracts.
To measure fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values in the corpus callosum and cingulum pathways, defined by diffusion tensor tractography, in patients with PD, PD with dementia (PDD) and controls and to determine if these measures correlate with Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) scores in parkinsonian patients.
Patients with PD (17 Males [M], 12 Females [F]), mild PDD (5 M, 1F) and controls (8 M, 7F) underwent cognitive testing and MRI scans. The corpus callosum was divided into four regions and the cingulum into two regions bilaterally to define tracts using the program DTIstudio (Johns Hopkins University) using the fiber assignment by continuous tracking algorithm. Volumetric MRI scans were used to measure white and gray matter volumes.
Groups did not differ in age or education. There were no overall FA or MD differences between groups in either the corpus callosum or cingulum pathways. In PD subjects the MMSE score correlated with MD within the corpus callosum. These findings were independent of age, sex and total white matter volume.
The data suggest that the corpus callosum or its cortical connections are associated with cognitive impairment in PD patients.
Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is one of the most common underlying pathologic substrates in patients with medically intractable epilepsy. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of FCD is an important predictor of good surgical outcome, conventional MRI is not sensitive enough to detect all lesions. Previous reports of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) abnormalities in FCD suggest the potential of DTI in the detection of FCD. The purpose of this study was to study subcortical white matter underlying small lesions of FCD using DTI.
Five patients with medically intractable epilepsy and FCD were investigated. Diffusion tensor imaging images were acquired (20 contiguous 3mm thick axial slices) with maps of fractional anisotropy (FA), trace apparent diffusion coefficient (trace/3 ADC), and principal eigenvalues (ADC parallel and ADC perpendicular to white matter tracts) being calculated for each slice. Region of interest analysis was used to compare subcortical white matter ipsilateral and contralateral to the lesion.
Three subjects with FCD associated with underlying white matter hyperintensities on T2 weighted MRI were observed to have increased trace/3 ADC, reduced fractional anisotropy and increased perpendicular water diffusivity which was greater than the relative increase in the parallel diffusivity. No DTI abnormalities were identified in two patients with FCD without white matter hyperintensities on conventional T2-weighted MRI.
While DTI abnormalities in FCD with obvious white matter involvement are consistent with micro-structural degradation of the underlying subcortical white matter, DTI changes were not identified in FCD lesions with normal appearing white matter.
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