Validity of Negative High-Resolution Diffusion-Weighted Imaging in Transient Acute Cerebrovascular Events
Background and Purpose—A significant amount of strokes are reported to be diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) negative in acute imaging. We attempted to quantify the rate of false-negative high-resolution (hr) DWI and to identify a valid screening tool to guide follow-up MRI to diagnose infarction initially not visible on hrDWI.
Methods—An a priori–defined post hoc analysis of a prospective 3T MRI cohort of acute cerebrovascular events imaged within 24 hours of ictus. Basic demographics, risk factors, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, and imaging parameters were recorded.
Results—Of 151 patients with negative acute hrDWI, 63 received follow-up scans depicting infarction in 7 cases (11.1%). Persistence of clinical symptoms as established by National Institute of Health Stroke Scale on the following day was strongly associated with infarction on follow-up MRI (odds ratios, 17.5; 95% confidence interval, 2.83–108.12). Negative predictive value of follow-up National Institute of Health Stroke Scale was 0.96.
Conclusions—Infarcts are frequently invisible on initial hrDWI, but we may well trust in negative hrDWI in completely transient cerebrovascular events.
- Received March 24, 2013.
- Revision received May 7, 2013.
- Accepted May 23, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.