Association of Intraplaque Hemorrhage and Acute Infarction in Patients With Basilar Artery Plaque
Background and Purpose—High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HRMRI) is ideal for serial examination of diseased arterial walls because it is noninvasive and has superior capability of discriminating tissue characteristics. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence and clinical relevance of intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) in patients with basilar artery (BA) atherosclerosis using HRMRI.
Methods—We analyzed HRMRI and clinical data from 74 patients (45 symptomatic and 29 asymptomatic), all of whom had >50% BA stenosis. High-signal intensity within a BA plaque on magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition with gradient-echo was defined as an area with an intensity that was >150% of the signal from the adjacent muscle. The relationship between IPH within a BA plaque region and clinical presentation was analyzed.
Results—Thirty patients were positive for IPH on HRMRI (42.3%, 24 symptomatic and 6 asymptomatic). Symptomatic lesions in the MR-positive IPH group were significantly more prevalent than in the MR-negative group (80.0% versus 48.8%; P<0.01). Also, MR-predicted IPH was significantly more prevalent in the high-grade stenosis group (P<0.001) than in the low-grade group. The relative risk of an acute focal stroke event among patients who were magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition with gradient-echo–positive for IPH compared with patients who were magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition with gradient-echo–negative was 1.64.
Conclusions—IPH within a BA plaque region on HRMRI is highly prevalent and is associated with acute stroke.
- Received March 12, 2015.
- Revision received July 22, 2015.
- Accepted July 24, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.