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Apparent diffusion coefficient thresholds and diffusion lesion volume in acute stroke

Author(s): R. G. Thomas, GK. Lymer, PA. Armitage, FM. Chappell, T. Carpenter, B. Karaszewski, M. Dennis, JM. Wardlaw

BACKGROUND: Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) thresholds are used to determine acute stroke lesion volume, but the reliability of this approach and comparability to the volume of the magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (MR-DWI) hyperintense lesion is unclear. METHODS: We prospectively recruited and clinically assessed patients who had experienced acute ischemic stroke and performed DWI less than 24 hours and at 3 to 7 days after stroke. We compared the volume of the manually outlined DW hyperintense lesion (reference standard) with lesion volumes derived from 3 commonly used ADC thresholds: .55 x 10(-3)/mm(2)/second(-1), .65 x 10(-3)/mm(2)/second(-1), and .75 x 10(-3)/mm(2)/second(-1), with and without "editing" of erroneous tissue. We compared the volumes obtained by reference standard, "raw," and "edited" thresholds. RESULTS: Among 33 representative patients, the acute DWI lesion volume was 15,284 mm(3); the median unedited/edited ADC volumes were 52,972/2786 mm(3), 92,707/6,987 mm(3), and 227,681/unmeasureable mm(3) (.55 x 10(-3)/mm(2)/second(-1), .65 x 10(-3)/mm(2)/second(-1), and .75 x 10(-3)/mm(2)/second(-1) thresholds, respectively). Subacute lesions gave similar differences. These differences between edited and unedited diffusion-weighted imaging and ADC volumes were statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Threshold-derived ADC volumes require substantial manual editing to avoid over- or underestimating the visible DWI lesion and should be used with caution.

Full version: Available here

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Publication Year: 2013
Periodical: J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis.
Periodical Number: 1532-8511 (Electronic)
Author Address: Brain Research Imaging Centre, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom; Scottish Imaging Network, A Platform for Scientific Collaboration (SINAPSE). FAU - Lymer, G Katherine