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Comparison of imaging findings on three-dimensional black-blood enhanced MR imaging between intracranial atherosclerotic occlusion and thrombotic occlusion

      Abstract

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to compare the imaging findings on three-dimensional (3D) black-blood (BB) contrast-enhanced MR imaging between intracranial atherosclerotic occlusion (IAO) and thrombotic occlusion (TO) of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory.

      Materials and methods

      From August 2020 to September 2021, we retrospectively reviewed the BB contrast-enhanced MR imaging of patients visiting the emergency room for evaluation of acute ischemic stroke. In total, 77 patients with complete occlusion of the MCA territory on 3D BB contrast-enhanced MR imaging and cerebral angiography were enrolled in this study. We divided the IAO and TO groups according to occlusion causes based on angiography findings.

      Results

      Of 77 patients, 44 (57.1%) had an IAO in the M1 and M2 and 33 had a TO. Lesion length contrast enhancement (CE) in patients with a TO was significantly longer than that in patients with an IAO (18.95 mm [IQR: 20.91] vs. 7.1 mm [8.92], p <0.001). Overall, 38 (39.4%) patients showed a disconnection of CE on 3D BB contrast-enhanced MR imaging, and 35 showed CE before and after the stenotic or thrombotic lesion. Symptomatic lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging in the TO group were significantly higher than that of the IAO group (97.0% vs, 70.5%, p = 0.003).

      Conclusion

      The long segment CE on 3D BB contrast-enhanced MR imaging was related to TO of MCA. CE before and after a stenotic or thrombotic lesion is a common finding on 3D BB contrast-enhanced MR imaging.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      IAO (intracranial atherosclerotic occlusion), TO (thrombotic occlusion), BB (black blood), CE (contrast enhancement)
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