3-Tesla versus 1.5-Tesla magnetic resonance diffusion and perfusion imaging in hyperacute ischemic stroke

Robert K Kosior, Caitlin J Wright, Jayme C Kosior, Carol Kenney, James N Scott, Richard Frayne, Michael D Hill
Cerebrovascular Diseases 2007, 24 (4): 361-8

BACKGROUND: Clinical 3-tesla magnetic resonance imaging systems are becoming widespread. No studies have examined differences between 1.5-tesla and 3-tesla imaging for the assessment of hyperacute ischemic stroke (<6 h from symptom onset). Our objective was to compare 1.5-tesla and 3-tesla diffusion and perfusion imaging for hyperacute stroke using optimized protocols.

METHODS: Three patients or their surrogate provided informed consent. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) was performed sequentially at 1.5 T and 3 T. DWI, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps and relative time-to-peak (TTP) maps were registered and assessed. DWI contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and ADC contrast were measured and compared. The infarct lesion volume (ILV) and thresholded ischemic volume (TIV) were estimated on the ADC and TTP maps, respectively, with the penumbral volume being defined as the difference between these volumes.

RESULTS: Qualitatively, the 3-tesla TTP images exhibited greater feature detail. Quantitatively, the DWI CNR and ILV were similar at both field strengths, the ADC contrast was greater at 3 T and the TIV and penumbral volumes were much smaller at 3 T.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the 3-tesla diffusion and perfusion images were at least as good and in some ways superior to the 1.5-tesla images for assessing hyperacute stroke. The TTP maps showed greater feature detail at 3 T. The ischemic and penumbra volumes were much greater at 1.5 T, indicating a potential difference in the diagnostic utility of the PWI-DWI mismatch between field strengths.

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