Patterns of core and penumbra in acute MI occlusion and their clinical correlates
Background and Purpose: The ischemic penumbra is composed of neurons that are functionally impaired but structurally intact, and thus potentially salvageable. Identifying the penumbra and its relationship with the ischemic core may lead to a more physiologic selection of patients who might benefit from recanalization therapy. We sought to explore the core/penumbra relationship by quantitatively measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) in patients with acute M1 occlusion. Methods: 19 patients with M1 occlusion proven by CT angiography or conventional cerebral angiography underwent a Xe-CT/CBF study within 6 hours of symptoms onset. Mean CBF values were measured in the ipsilateral cortical MCA territory. The core was defined as areas with CBF< 8 ml/100g/min and the penumbra was defined as areas with CBF 9–20 ml/100g/min. Findings were correlated with the admission NIH stroke scale (NIHSS). Results: In 6/19 patients (31.5%)(group 1), the size of the penumbra was greater than twice the size of the core. In 8/19 patients (42.1%) (group 2), the size of the penumbra was approximately equal the size of the core. In 5/19 patients (26.8%)(group 3) the size of the penumbra was less than half the size of the core. The median core volumes for each of the three groups, expressed as percentage of core relative to ipsilateral cortical MCA territory, increased from group 1 to group 3. While there was a trend towards a correlation between the admission NIHSS and the combined core and penumbral volumes, no such correlation could be established between admission NIHSS and core or penumbral volumes alone. Conclusions: In the first 6 hours after M1 occlusion, penumbral volumes that are larger than or equal to core volumes are present in 14 out of 19 patients. A smaller core volume is associated with an increased penumbra to core ratio. The admission NIHSS in patients with M1 occlusion correlates with the combined volumes of core and penumbra.