Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate diffusion tensor (DT) imaging-derived properties of benign oligemia, true “at risk” penumbra (TP), and the infarct core (IC) during the first 3 hours of stroke onset. Materials and Methods: The study was approved by the local animal care and use committee. DT imaging data were obtained from 14 rats after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) using a 7T magnetic resonance scanner (Bruker) in room air. Relative cerebral blood flow and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were generated to define oligemia, TP, IC, and normal tissue (NT) every 30 minutes up to 3 hours. Relative fractional anisotropy (rFA), pure anisotropy (rq), diffusion magnitude (rL), ADC (rADC), axial diffusivity (rAD), and radial diffusivity (rRD) values were derived by comparison with the contralateral normal brain. Results: The mean volume of oligemia was 24.7 ± 14.1 mm3, that of TP was 81.3 ± 62.6 mm3, and that of IC was 123.0 ± 85.2 mm3 at 30 minutes after pMCAO. rFA showed an initial paradoxical 10% increase in IC and TP, and declined afterward. The rq, rL, rADC, rAD, and rRD showed an initial discrepant decrease in IC (from-24% to-36%) as compared with TP (from-7% to-13%). Significant differences (p < 0.05) in metrics, except rFA, were found between tissue subtypes in the first 2.5 hours. The rq demonstrated the best overall performance in discriminating TP from IC (accuracy = 92.6%, area under curve = 0.93) and the optimal cutoff value was-33.90%. The metric values for oligemia and NT remained similar at all time points. Conclusion: Benign oligemia is small and remains microstructurally normal under pMCAO. TP and IC show a distinct evolution of DT-derived properties within the first 3 hours of stroke onset, and are thus potentially useful in predicting the fate of ischemic brain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging