To characterize the effects of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) therapy and early reperfusion on diffusion-weighted (DWI) and perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) changes observed following acute ischemic injury.Twelve patients were evaluated prospectively using echo planar DWI and bolus tracking PWI. Six patients received i.v. rt-PA 0.9 mg/kg and were compared with six patients who did not. Patients receiving rt-PA were initially imaged (T1) 3 to 5 hours postictus (mean, 4 hours 20 minutes) whereas those not treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) were imaged 4 to 7 hours postictus (mean, 5 hours, 25 minutes). Follow-up imaging was performed 3 to 6 hours (T2), 24 to 36 hours (T3), 5 to 7 days (T4), and 30 days (T5) after the first scan in all patients. Lesion volumes were measured on both DWI and time-to-peak maps constructed from PW images.PWI was performed successfully at T1 and T3 in 11 of 12 patients. In the group that received i.v. tPA, initial PWI volumes were less than DWI volumes in five of six patients (83%), whereas only one of five patients (20%) not receiving tPA had PWI < DWI volume (p = 0.08). PWI normalized by 24 to 36 hours (T3) in 6 of 11 patients (early reperfusers), with 5 of 6 of these early reperfusers having received tPA. The aggregate apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values for the early reperfusers were consistently higher at T2 (p = 0.04), T3 (p = 0.002), and T4 (p = 0.0005). Five of six patients with early reperfusion demonstrated regions of elevated ADC within the ischemic zone (mean ipsilateral ADC/contralateral ADC, 1.46 +/- 0.19) by 24 to 36 hours, whereas none of the nonearly reperfusers showed these regions of elevated ADC (p = 0.015).Early reperfusion is seen more frequently with i.v. tPA therapy. In addition, the study showed that ADC may undergo early increases that are tied closely to reperfusion, and marked ADC heterogeneity may exist within the same lesion. Early reperfusion is seen more frequently with i.v. tPA therapy.
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View details for PubMedID 10371525