Early Ischemic Change on CT Versus Diffusion-Weighted Imaging for Patients With Stroke Receiving Int

Background and Purpose—

Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT Score (ASPECTS) is a quantitative topographical score to evaluate early ischemic change in the middle cerebral arterial territory on CT as well as on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). The aim of the present study was to elucidate the relationship between CT-ASPECTS and DWI-ASPECTS for patients with hyperacute stroke and their associations with outcomes after recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator therapy based on a multicenter registry.


ASPECTS was assessed on both CT and DWI before intravenous 0.6 mg/kg alteplase in 360 patients with stroke (119 women, 71±11 years old). The outcomes were symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage within 36 hours and independence at 3 months defined by a modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 2.


DWI-ASPECTS was positively correlated with CT-ASPECTS (=0.511, P<0.001) and was lower than CT-ASPECTS (median 8 [interquartile range, 6 to 9] versus 9 [8 to 10], P<0.001). Higher baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (standardized partial regression coefficient [β] 0.061, P<0.001) and cardioembolic stroke (β 0.35, P<0.001) were related to this discrepancy. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for predicting sICH (12 patients) using ASPECTS was 0.673 (95% CI, 0.503 to 0.807) by CT and 0.764 (95% CI, 0.635 to 0.858) by DWI (P=0.275). The area for predicting independence at 3 months (192 patients) was 0.621 (0.564 to 0.674) by CT and 0.639 (0.580 to 0.694) by DWI (P=0.535).


For patients with hyperacute stroke, DWI-ASPECTS scored approximately 1 point lower than CT-ASPECTS. Both CT-ASPECTS and DWI-ASPECTS were useful predictors of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage and independence at 3 months after recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator.



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