Does Diffusion Tensor Imaging-Based Tractography at 3 Months of Age Contribute to the Prediction of Motor Outcome After Perinatal Arterial Ischemic Stroke?
Background and Purpose—After perinatal arterial ischemic stroke, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and early evaluation of spontaneous motor behavior can be used to predict the development of unilateral motor deficits. The aim of this study was to investigate whether diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography at 3 months of age contributes to this prediction.
Methods—Twenty-two infants with unilateral perinatal arterial ischemic stroke were included and scanned during the neonatal period. DWI was used to assess restricted diffusion in the cerebral peduncle. At the age of 3 months, diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography of the corticospinal tracts was performed along with assessment of the movement repertoire. The role of DWI, diffusion tensor imaging, and motor assessment in predicting unilateral motor deficits were compared by calculating the positive and negative predictive values for each assessment.
Results—Eleven infants (50%) showed abnormal motor behavior at 3 months with subsequent development of unilateral motor deficits in 8 as determined at follow-up (9–48 months, positive predictive value 73%). Diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography correctly predicted the development of unilateral motor deficits in all 8 infants (positive predictive value 100%). A diagnostic neonatal DWI was available in 20 of 22 (91%) infants. Seven infants showed an abnormal DWI, resulting in unilateral motor deficits in 6 infants (positive predictive value 86%). All assessments had a negative predictive value of 100%.
Conclusions—Diffusion tensor imaging-based tractography at 3 months can be used to predict neurodevelopmental outcome after perinatal arterial ischemic stroke. It has a similar predictive value as DWI in the neonatal period and can especially be of additional value in case of an indecisive neonatal DWI or unexpected abnormal early motor development.
- cerebral palsy
- diffusion tensor imaging
- diffusion tensor tractography
- diffusion-weighted imaging
- perinatal brain damage
- Received May 3, 2011.
- Revision received July 29, 2011.
- Accepted August 3, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.