Transient ischemic attacks (TIA) predict future stroke. However, there are no sensitive and specific diagnostic criteria for TIA and interobserver agreement regarding the diagnosis is poor. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) demonstrates acute ischemic lesions in approximately 30% of TIA patients; the yield of perfusion-weighted MRI (PWI) is unclear.We prospectively performed both DWI and PWI within 48 hours of symptom onset in consecutive patients admitted with suspected hemispheric TIAs of <24 hours symptom duration. Two independent raters, blinded to clinical features, assessed the presence and location of acute DWI and PWI lesions. Lesions were correlated with suspected clinical localization and baseline characteristics. Clinical features predictive of a PWI lesion were assessed.Forty-three patients met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-three percent had a PWI lesion and 35% had a DWI lesion. Seven patients (16%) had both PWI and DWI lesions and 7 (16%) had only PWI lesions. The combined yield for identification of either a PWI or a DWI was 51%. DWI lesions occurred in the clinically suspected hemisphere in 93% of patients; PWI lesions in 86%. PWI lesions occurred more frequently when the MRI was performed within 12 hours of symptom resolution, in patients with symptoms of speech impairment, and among individuals younger than 60 years.The combination of early diffusion-weighted MRI and perfusion-weighted MRI can document the presence of a cerebral ischemic lesion in approximately half of all patients who present with a suspected hemispheric transient ischemic attack (TIA). MRI has the potential to improve the accuracy of TIA diagnosis. ACA = anterior cerebral artery; CI = confidence interval; DWI = diffusion-weighted MRI; ICA = internal carotid artery; MCA = middle cerebral artery; MRA = magnetic resonance angiography; MTT = mean transit time; OR = odds ratios; PCA = posterior cerebral artery; PWI = perfusion-weighted MRI; RR = risk ratios; TIA = transient ischemic attacks; TOAST = Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment.
View details for DOI 10.1212/01.wnl.0000340983.00152.69
View details for Web of Science ID 000264709000005
View details for PubMedID 19092109
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2680066