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Outcome prediction is challenging in comatose postcardiac arrest survivors. We assessed the feasibility and prognostic utility of brain diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) during the first week.Consecutive comatose postcardiac arrest patients were prospectively enrolled. AWI data of patients who met predefined specific prognostic criteria were used to determine distinguishing apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) thresholds. Group 1 criteria were death at 6 months and absent motor response or absent pupillary reflexes or bilateral absent cortical responses at 72 hours or vegetative at 1 month. Group 2 criterion was survival at 6 months with a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or 5 (group 2A) or 3 (group 2B). The percentage of voxels below different ADC thresholds was calculated at 50 x 10(-6) mm(2)/sec intervals.Overall, 86% of patients underwent DWI. Fifty-one patients with 62 brain DWIs were included. Forty patients met the specific prognostic criteria. The percentage of brain volume with an ADC value less than 650 to 700 x 10(-6)mm(2)/sec best differentiated between Group 1 and Groups 2A and 2B combined (p < 0.001), whereas the 400 to 450 x 10(-6)mm(2)/sec threshold best differentiated between Groups 2A and 2B (p = 0.003). The ideal time window for prognostication using DWI was between 49 and 108 hours after the arrest. When comparing DWI in this time window with the 72-hour neurological examination, DWI improved the sensitivity for predicting poor outcome by 38% while maintaining 100% specificity (p = 0.021).Quantitative DWI in comatose postcardiac arrest survivors holds promise as a prognostic adjunct.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ana.21632
View details for Web of Science ID 000265656200008
View details for PubMedID 19399889
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2677115