Multiple Infarcts Are Associated With Long-Term Stroke Recurrence and All-Cause Mortality in Cryptogenic Stroke Patients
Background and Purpose—Brain infarct patterns that are observed via diffusion-weighted imaging are useful for classifying stroke subtypes. However, it is unclear whether infarct patterns can predict long-term outcomes in cryptogenic stroke patients. Herein, we investigated the association between acute brain infarct patterns and long-term stroke outcomes in cryptogenic stroke patients.
Methods—Acute cryptogenic stroke patients were consecutively enrolled between April 2008 and March 2012. Diffusion-weighted imaging ischemic lesion patterns were classified as single lesions, scattered lesions in one vascular territory, or multiple lesions in multiple vascular territories. Survivors (at discharge) were followed up for 3 years after stroke onset.
Results—A total of 272 cryptogenic stroke patients (132 women; aged 72±13 years) were enrolled. Among these patients, 169 (62.1%) had a single lesion, 38 (14.0%) had scattered lesions, and 65 (23.9%) had multiple lesions. Next, 261 patients (96.0%) were evaluated to assess right-to-left shunting, and 61 patients (23.4%) exhibited right-to-left shunting. On patient admission, right-to-left shunting and increased D-dimer levels were independently associated with multiple lesions but not single or scattered lesions. During the follow-up period (median, 1093 days), 30 patients (11.0%) developed recurrent stroke and 35 patients (12.9%) died. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analyses showed that multiple infarcts were independently associated with recurrent stroke and all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 3.79; 95% confidence interval, 2.24–6.37; P<0.001).
Conclusions—Multiple brain infarcts on diffusion-weighted imaging were independently associated with long-term stroke outcomes in cryptogenic stroke patients.
- Received May 24, 2016.
- Revision received May 24, 2016.
- Accepted June 15, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.