Ischemic lesion volume determination on diffusion weighted images vs. apparent diffusion coefficient maps

Bernt Tore Bråtane, Birgul Bastan, Marc Fisher, James Bouley, Nils Henninger
Brain Research 2009 July 7, 1279: 182-8
Though diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is frequently used for identifying the ischemic lesion in focal cerebral ischemia, the understanding of spatiotemporal evolution patterns observed with different analysis methods remains imprecise. DWI and calculated apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were serially obtained in rat stroke models (MCAO): permanent, 90 min, and 180 min temporary MCAO. Lesion volumes were analyzed in a blinded and randomized manner by 2 investigators using (i) a previously validated ADC threshold, (ii) visual determination of hypointense regions on ADC maps, and (iii) visual determination of hyperintense regions on DWI. Lesion volumes were correlated with 24 hour 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazoliumchloride (TTC)-derived infarct volumes. TTC-derived infarct volumes were not significantly different from the ADC and DWI-derived lesion volumes at the last imaging time points except for significantly smaller DWI lesions in the pMCAO model (p=0.02). Volumetric calculation based on TTC-derived infarct also correlated significantly stronger to volumetric calculation based on last imaging time point derived lesions on ADC maps than DWI (p<0.05). Following reperfusion, lesion volumes on the ADC maps significantly reduced but no change was observed on DWI. Visually determined lesion volumes on ADC maps and DWI by both investigators correlated significantly with threshold-derived lesion volumes on ADC maps with the former method demonstrating a stronger correlation. There was also a better interrater agreement for ADC map analysis than for DWI analysis. Ischemic lesion determination by ADC was more accurate in final infarct prediction, rater independent, and provided exclusive information on ischemic lesion reversibility.

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