Clinically confirmed stroke with negative diffusion-weighted imaging magnetic resonance imaging. Longitudinal study of clinical outcomes, stroke recurrence, and systematic review

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—We sought to establish whether the presence (versus absence) of a lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with diffusion weighting (DWI-MRI) at presentation with acute stroke is associated with worse clinical outcomes at 1 year. Methods—We recruited consecutive patients with a nondisabling ischemic stroke and performed DWI-MRI. Patients were followed up at 1 year to establish stroke recurrence (clinical or on MRI), cognitive impairment (Addenbrooke Cognitive Assessment Revised,<88) and modified Rankin Scale. Results—A median of 4 days post stroke, one third (76/264; 29%) of patients did not have a DWI lesion (95% confidence interval, 23%–35%). There was no statistically significant difference between those with and without a DWI lesion with respect to age or vascular risk factors. Patients without a lesion were more likely to be women or have previous stroke. At 1 year, 11 of 76 (14%) patients with a DWI-negative index stroke had a clinical diagnosis of recurrent stroke or transient ischemic attack, 33% had cognitive impairment (Addenbrooke Cognitive Assessment Revised <88), and 40% still had modified Rankin Scale >1, no different from DWI-positive patients; DWI-positive patients were more likely to have a new lesion on MRI (14%), symptomatic or asymptomatic, than DWI-negative patients (2%; P=0.02). Our data were consistent with 6 other studies (total n=976), pooled proportion of DWI-negative patients was 21% (95% confidence interval, 12%–32%). Conclusions—Nearly one third of patients with nondisabling stroke do not have a relevant lesion on acute DWI-MRI. Patients with negative DWI-MRI had no better prognosis than patients with a lesion. DWI-negative stroke patients should receive secondary prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3142-3148
JournalStroke
Volume46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • stroke
  • DWI
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • MRI
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Longitudinal
  • clinical outcomes
  • stroke recurrence

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