Modified DWI-FLAIR mismatch guided thrombolysis in unknown onset stroke
DWI-FLAIR mismatch has been recently proven to identify patients with unknown onset stroke (UOS) eligible for thrombolysis. However, this concept may exclude patients from thrombolysis who may eventually benefit as well. We aimed to examine the feasibility, safety and potential efficacy of thrombolysis in wake-up stroke (WUS) and UOS patients using a modified DWI-FLAIR mismatch allowing for partial FLAIR positivity. WUS/UOS patients fulfilling the modified DWI-FLAIR mismatch and treated with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) were compared to propensity score matched WUS/UOS patients excluded from IVT due to FLAIR positivity. The primary endpoint was a symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (SICH), the secondary endpoints were improvement of ≥ 4 in NIHSS score and mRS score at 3 months. 64 IVT-treated patients (median NIHSS 9) and 64 controls (median NIHSS 8) entered the analysis (p = 0.2). No significant difference in SICH was found between the IVT group and the controls (3.1% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.9). An improvement of ≥ 4 NIHSS points was more frequent in IVT patients as compared to controls (40.6% vs. 18.8%, p = 0.01). 23.4% of IVT patients achieved a mRS score of 0–1 at 3 months as compared to 18.8% of the controls (p = 0.8). SICH, improvement of NIHSS ≥ 4 and mRS 0–1 at 3 months were comparable in thrombolyzed patients with negative FLAIR images versus those thrombolyzed with partial positive FLAIR images (3% vs. 3%, p = 0.9; 40% vs. 41%, p = 0.9; 19% vs. 22%, p = 0.8). Our study signalizes that thrombolysis may be feasible in selected WUS/UOS patients with partial FLAIR signal positivity.
KeywordsWake-up stroke Unknown onset stroke Thrombolysis DWI-FLAIR mismatch
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
- 1.Albers GW, Thijs VN, Wechsler L, Kemp S, Schlaug G, Skalabrin E, Bammer R, Kakuda W, Lansberg MG, Shuaib A, Coplin W, Hamilton S, Moseley M, Marks MP, Investigators D (2006) Magnetic resonance imaging profiles predict clinical response to early reperfusion: the diffusion and perfusion imaging evaluation for understanding stroke evolution (DEFUSE) study. Ann Neurol 60:508–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 2.Davis SM, Donnan GA, Parsons MW, Levi C, Butcher KS, Peeters A, Barber PA, Bladin C, De Silva DA, Byrnes G, Chalk JB, Fink JN, Kimber TE, Schultz D, Hand PJ, Frayne J, Hankey G, Muir K, Gerraty R, Tress BM, Desmond PM, Investigators E (2008) Effects of alteplase beyond 3 h after stroke in the Echoplanar Imaging Thrombolytic Evaluation Trial (EPITHET): a placebo-controlled randomised trial. Lancet Neurol 7:299–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 4.Thomalla G, Cheng B, Ebinger M, Hao Q, Tourdias T, Wu O, Kim JS, Breuer L, Singer OC, Warach S, Christensen S, Treszl A, Forkert ND, Galinovic I, Rosenkranz M, Engelhorn T, Kohrmann M, Endres M, Kang DW, Dousset V, Sorensen AG, Liebeskind DS, Fiebach JB, Fiehler J, Gerloff C, Stir, Investigators VI, (2011) DWI-FLAIR mismatch for the identification of patients with acute ischaemic stroke within 4.5 h of symptom onset (PRE-FLAIR): a multicentre observational study. Lancet Neurol 10:978–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 5.Thomalla G, Simonsen CZ, Boutitie F, Andersen G, Berthezene Y, Cheng B, Cheripelli B, Cho TH, Fazekas F, Fiehler J, Ford I, Galinovic I, Gellissen S, Golsari A, Gregori J, Gunther M, Guibernau J, Hausler KG, Hennerici M, Kemmling A, Marstrand J, Modrau B, Neeb L, Perez de la Ossa N, Puig J, Ringleb P, Roy P, Scheel E, Schonewille W, Serena J, Sunaert S, Villringer K, Wouters A, Thijs V, Ebinger M, Endres M, Fiebach JB, Lemmens R, Muir KW, Nighoghossian N, Pedraza S, Gerloff C, Investigators W-U (2018) MRI-guided thrombolysis for stroke with unknown time of onset. N Engl J Med 379(7):611–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.Thomalla G, Fiebach JB, Ostergaard L, Pedraza S, Thijs V, Nighoghossian N, Roy P, Muir KW, Ebinger M, Cheng B, Galinovic I, Cho TH, Puig J, Boutitie F, Simonsen CZ, Endres M, Fiehler J, Gerloff C, Investigators W-U (2014) A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to test efficacy and safety of magnetic resonance imaging-based thrombolysis in wake-up stroke (WAKE-UP). Int J Stroke 9:829–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 12.Meisterernst J, Klinger-Gratz PP, Leidolt L, Lang MF, Schroth G, Mordasini P, Heldner MR, Mono ML, Kurmann R, Buehlmann M, Fischer U, Arnold M, Gralla J, Mattle HP, El-Koussy M, Jung S (2017) Focal T2 and FLAIR hyperintensities within the infarcted area: a suitable marker for patient selection for treatment? PLoS ONE 12:e0185158CrossRefGoogle Scholar