Hypointense transcerebral veins at T2*-weighted MRI: a marker of hemorrhagic transformation risk in patients treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator

Marc Hermier, Norbert Nighoghossian, Laurent Derex, Patrice Adeleine, Marlène Wiart, Yves Berthezène, François Cotton, Jean-Baptiste Pialat, Pascal Dardel, Jérôme Honnorat, Paul Trouillas, Jean-Claude Froment
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 2003, 23 (11): 1362-70
Prediction of hemorrhagic transformation (HT) in patients treated by intravenous recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is a challenging issue in acute stroke management. HT may be correlated with severe hypoperfusion. Signal changes may be observed at susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within large perfusion defects. A signal drop within cerebral veins at T2*-weighted gradient-echo MRI may be expected in severe ischemia, and may indicate subsequent risk of HT. The authors prospectively searched for an abnormal visibility of transcerebral veins (AVV) within the ischemic area in patients with hemispheric ischemic stroke, before they were treated with intravenous rt-PA therapy. Any correlation between AVV and baseline clinical or MRI findings, or further HT, was noted. An AVV was present in 23 of 49 patients (obvious, n = 8; moderate, n = 15), and was supported by severe hemodynamic changes at baseline MRI. The AVV was correlated with the occurrence of parenchymal hematoma type 2 at computed tomography during the first week (r = 0.44, P = 0.002). Five of six type 2 parenchymal hematomas occurred in association with obvious AVV. At multiple regression analysis, two baseline MRI factors had an independent predictive value for HT risk during the first week: the AVV and the cerebral blood volume ratio (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.48).

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