Clinical experience with diffusion-weighted MR in patients with acute stroke

Karl Olof Lövblad, Hans Joachim Laubach, Alison E. Baird, François Curtin, Gottfried Schlaug, Robert R. Edelman, Steven Warach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Our purpose was to evaluate the clinical efficacy, sensitivity, and specificity of echo-planar diffusion-weighted MR imaging in patients with acute infarction. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 194 cases of acute ischemic stroke diagnosed clinically within 24 hours of onset and studied with echo-planar diffusion-weighted MR imaging. Examinations were considered to be positive for infarction when an increase in signal was noted on images acquired at a high b value but absent on images with a low b value. A final clinical diagnosis of acute stroke was used as the standard of reference. A subset of 48 patients scanned within 6 hours was also analyzed. RESULTS: Diffusion-weighted MR imaging studies were positive in 133 of 151 cases of infarction (88% sensitivity) and negative in 41 of 43 cases with no infarction (95% specificity). Two cases identified as positive on diffusion- weighted images had nonischemic diagnoses (1.5% false-positive rate). Diffusion-weighted imaging had a positive predictive value of 98.5% and a negative predictive value of 69.5%. Use of T2-weighted sequences as well as diffusion-weighted imaging produced no false-positive findings. Of the negative scans, 69.5% corresponded to transient ischemic attacks or infarcts (mostly small brain stem infarcts). When only cases scanned within 6 hours of onset were considered, the sensitivity rose to 94% and the specificity to 100%. CONCLUSION: Despite bias due to dependence between diffusion-weighted imaging and the final diagnosis, this analysis suggests high sensitivity and specificity for echo-planar diffusion-weighted imaging in the diagnosis of acute cerebral infarction, although negative scans did not rule out an ischemic pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1066
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume19
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998

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Stroke
Infarction
Sensitivity and Specificity
Transient Ischemic Attack
Cerebral Infarction
Brain Stem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Lövblad, K. O., Laubach, H. J., Baird, A. E., Curtin, F., Schlaug, G., Edelman, R. R., & Warach, S. (1998). Clinical experience with diffusion-weighted MR in patients with acute stroke. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 19(6), 1061-1066.

Clinical experience with diffusion-weighted MR in patients with acute stroke. / Lövblad, Karl Olof; Laubach, Hans Joachim; Baird, Alison E.; Curtin, François; Schlaug, Gottfried; Edelman, Robert R.; Warach, Steven.

In: American Journal of Neuroradiology, Vol. 19, No. 6, 06.1998, p. 1061-1066.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lövblad, KO, Laubach, HJ, Baird, AE, Curtin, F, Schlaug, G, Edelman, RR & Warach, S 1998, 'Clinical experience with diffusion-weighted MR in patients with acute stroke', American Journal of Neuroradiology, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 1061-1066.
Lövblad KO, Laubach HJ, Baird AE, Curtin F, Schlaug G, Edelman RR et al. Clinical experience with diffusion-weighted MR in patients with acute stroke. American Journal of Neuroradiology. 1998 Jun;19(6):1061-1066.
Lövblad, Karl Olof ; Laubach, Hans Joachim ; Baird, Alison E. ; Curtin, François ; Schlaug, Gottfried ; Edelman, Robert R. ; Warach, Steven. / Clinical experience with diffusion-weighted MR in patients with acute stroke. In: American Journal of Neuroradiology. 1998 ; Vol. 19, No. 6. pp. 1061-1066.
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