Is Aortic Atherothrombotic Disease Detected Using Multidetector-Row CT Associated With an Increased Risk of Early Ischemic Lesion Recurrence After Acute Ischemic Stroke?
Background and Purpose—Multidetector-row CT (MDCT) is emerging as a new tool for diagnosing aortic atherothrombotic disease (AAD). We elucidated whether MDCT-detected AAD is associated with an increased risk of early ischemic lesion recurrence on diffusion-weighted MRI after ischemic stroke.
Methods—A consecutive series of patients with acute ischemic stroke confirmed using diffusion-weighted MRI who were hospitalized within 48 hours after symptom onset and underwent MDCT were identified in a prospective stroke registry database. AAD on MDCT was defined as the presence of plaque formation that was noncalcified and ≥4 mm thick, ulcerative, or soft and thrombosed (vulnerable) in the proximal aortic arch. Ischemic lesion recurrence on diffusion-weighted MRI was defined as the occurrence of any new lesion separate from the index lesion on follow-up diffusion-weighted MRI performed within 14 days after symptom onset.
Results—A total of 138 patients was selected. MDCT detected AAD in 24 of 138 (17.4%); ≥4 mm thickness in 17 of 138 (12.3%); ulcerated plaque in 20 of 138 (14.5%); and vulnerable plaque in 16 of 138 (11.6%). With respect to diffusion-weighted MRI lesion recurrence, the crude ORs (95% CIs) were as follows: AAD, 3.56 (1.43–8.89); vulnerable plaque, 3.21 (1.11–9.30); ulcerated plaque, 3.37 (1.27–8.95); and ≥4 mm thickness of the noncalcified plaque, 4.23 (1.11–16.19). These results remained significant after adjustments for potential confounders were made.
Conclusions—This study shows that AAD detected by MDCT increases the risk of early ischemic lesion recurrence after acute ischemic stroke, thus supporting the role of MDCT in diagnosing AAD and assessing its contribution to recurrence.
- Received July 11, 2011.
- Revision received November 26, 2011.
- Accepted November 30, 2011.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.