Brush Sign on 3-T T2*-Weighted MRI as a Potential Predictor of Hemorrhagic Transformation After Tissue Plasminogen Activator Therapy
Background and Purpose—The brush sign (BS) is the enlargement of medullary veins on 3-T T2*-weighted MRI seen in patients with ischemic stroke because of major cerebral artery occlusion. However, the clinical relevance of BS in patients with acute stroke remains unclear. We assessed the correlation between detecting BS with the development of hemorrhagic transformation after intravenous thrombolysis.
Methods—We enrolled consecutive patients with M1 or M2 occlusion treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator. We classified the patients into 2 groups: the group positive for BS (P-BS) and the group negative for BS (N-BS). We investigated the differences in MRI findings and the clinical outcome between the 2 groups.
Results—The subjects consisted of 36 patients (19 men; mean age, 74.7 years). Twenty-one patients (58%) had M1 occlusion, and 15 (42%) had M2 occlusion. Twenty-five patients (69%) were classified into the P-BS group and 11 (31%) into the N-BS group. Recanalization was observed in 15 (60%) and 10 (90%) patients in the P-BS and N-BS groups, respectively (P=0.116). Hemorrhagic transformation on MRI was observed more frequently in the P-BS group than in the N-BS group (64% versus 18%; P=0.027). A good outcome (mRS, 0–1) at discharge was found in 24% of patients in the P-BS group and in 45% of patients in the N-BS group (P=0.152). A multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the presence of BS (odds ratio, 9.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.4–59.8; P=0.022) was independently associated with hemorrhagic transformation.
Conclusions—BS may predict the development of hemorrhagic transformation in patients with acute stroke treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator.
- Received June 26, 2013.
- Accepted September 10, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.