Impact of high-resolution intracranial vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging on diagnosis in patients with embolic stroke of unknown source

Naaem Simaan, Fatma Shalabi, Yoel Schwartzmann, Tamer Jubeh, Yoav Parag, Asaf Honig, Issa Metanis, Hamza Joubran, Jad Magadlla, John M. Gomori, Jose E. Cohen, Ronen R. Leker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The mechanism responsible for stroke in patients with embolic stroke of unknown source (ESUS) often remains unknown despite extensive investigations. We aimed to test whether high-resolution intracranial vessel wall MR imaging (icVWI) can add to the diagnostic yield in these patients. Patients and methods: Patients with ESUS were prospectively included into an ongoing registry. Patients that underwent icVWI as part of their diagnostic workup were compared to those that did not have an icVWI. Patients with icVWI positive for intracranial vulnerable plaques were than compared to those without evidence of plaque vulnerability on VWI. Results: A total of 179 patients with ESUS were included and 48 of them (27%) underwent icVWI. Patients that had an icVWI scan were significantly younger, had lower rates of ischemic heart disease and prior disability as well as significantly lower stroke severity. On regression analysis the only factor that remained associated with not obtaining an icVWI scan was increasing age (Odds ratio [OR] 0.97/year, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.95–0.97). Among patients that had an icVWI scan 28 (58%) had evidence of plaque enhancement on VWI in the same distribution of the stroke and the remaining 20 studies were negative. The relative proportion of stroke presumed to be secondary to intracranial non-stenotic atheromatous disease increased from 15% in patients without icVWI scans to 58% among patients with icVWI scans (p = 0.001). On regression analysis the only factor that was associated with vulnerable plaques on icVWI was smoking (OR 11.05 95% CI 1.88–65.17). Conclusions: icVWI can add significant information relevant to stroke pathogenesis and treatment in patients with ESUS and a negative initial exhaustive diagnostic workup.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120863
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume454
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • High-resolution vessel wall imaging
  • MRI
  • Stroke

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