CT perfusion identifies increased salvage of tissue in patients receiving intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator within 3 hours of stroke onset

H M Silvennoinen, L M Hamberg, P J Lindsberg, L Valanne, G J Hunter
AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology 2008, 29 (6): 1118-23

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In spite of the advent of thrombolytic therapy, CT-perfusion imaging is currently not fully used for clinical decision-making and not included in published clinical guidelines for management of ischemic stroke. We investigated whether lesion volumes on cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and mean transit time (MTT) maps predict final infarct volume and whether all these parameters are needed for triage to intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA). We also investigated the effect of intravenous rtPA on affected brain by measuring salvaged tissue volume in patients receiving intravenous rtPA and in controls.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty-four patients receiving intravenous rtPA and 19 controls underwent CT perfusion (CTP) studies in the emergency department within 3 hours of stroke onset. Lesion volumes were measured on MTT, CBV, and CBF maps by region-of-interest analysis and were compared with follow-up CT volumes by correlation and regression analysis. The volume of salvaged tissue was determined as the difference between the initial MTT and follow-up CT lesion volumes and was compared between intravenous rtPA-treated patients and controls.

RESULTS: No significant difference between the groups was observed in lesion volume assessed from the CTP maps (P > .08). Coefficients of determination for MTT, CBF, and CBV versus follow-up CT lesion volumes were 0.3, 0.3, 0.47, with intravenous rtPA; and 0.53, 0.55, and 0.81 without intravenous rtPA. Regression of MTT on CBF lesion volumes showed codependence (R(2) = 0.98, P < .0001). Mean salvaged tissue volumes with intravenous rtPA were 21.8 +/- 17.1 and 13.2 +/- 13.5 mL in controls; these were significantly different by using nonparametric (P < .03) and Fisher exact tests (P < .04).

CONCLUSIONS: Within 3 hours of stroke onset, CBV lesion volume does not necessarily represent dead tissue. MTT lesion volume alone can be used to identify the upper limit of the size of abnormally perfused brain. More brain is salvaged in patients with intravenous rtPA than in controls.

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