Perfusion computed tomography thresholds defining ischemic penumbra and infarct core: studies in a rat stroke model

Authors

  • D. D. McLeod,

    Corresponding author
    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
    • Correspondence: Damian McLeod, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.

      E-mail: damian.mcleod@newcastle.edu.au

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  • M. W. Parsons,

    1. Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, Hunter Region M.C., New South Wales, Australia
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  • R. Hood,

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • B. Hiles,

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • J. Allen,

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • S. K. McCann,

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • L. Murtha,

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • M. B. Calford,

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • C. R. Levi,

    1. Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, Hunter Region M.C., New South Wales, Australia
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  • N. J. Spratt

    1. Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, Hunter Region M.C., New South Wales, Australia
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  • Conflicts of interest: None declared.

Abstract

Background

Perfusion computed tomography is becoming more widely used as a clinical imaging tool to predict potentially salvageable tissue (ischemic penumbra) after ischemic stroke and guide reperfusion therapies.

Aims

The study aims to determine whether there are important changes in perfusion computed tomography thresholds defining ischemic penumbra and infarct core over time following stroke.

Methods

Permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion was performed in adult outbred Wistar rats (n = 6) and serial perfusion computed tomography scans were taken every 30 mins for 2 h. To define infarction thresholds at 1 h and 2 h post-stroke, separate groups of rats underwent 1 h (n = 6) and 2 h (n = 6) of middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by reperfusion. Infarct volumes were defined by histology at 24 h. Co-registration with perfusion computed tomography maps (cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, and mean transit time) permitted pixel-based analysis of thresholds defining infarction, using receiver operating characteristic curves.

Results

Relative cerebral blood flow was the perfusion computed tomography parameter that most accurately predicted penumbra (area under the curve = 0·698) and also infarct core (area under the curve = 0·750). A relative cerebral blood flow threshold of < 75% of mean contralateral cerebral blood flow most accurately predicted penumbral tissue at 0·5 h (area under the curve = 0·660), 1 h (area under the curve = 0·659), 1·5 h (area under the curve = 0·636), and 2 h (area under the curve = 0·664) after stroke onset. A relative cerebral blood flow threshold of < 55% of mean contralateral most accurately predicted infarct core at 1 h (area under the curve = 0·765) and at 2 h (area under the curve = 0·689) after middle cerebral artery occlusion.

Conclusions

The data provide perfusion computed tomography defined relative cerebral blood flow thresholds for infarct core and ischemic penumbra within the first two hours after experimental stroke in rats. These thresholds were shown to be stable to define the volume of infarct core and penumbra within this time window.

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