Background: Differential diagnosis between acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and epilepsy-related stroke mimics is sometimes difficult in the emergency department. We investigated whether a combination of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and arterial spin labeling imaging (ASL) is useful in distinguishing AIS from epileptic disorders. Methods: The study included suspected AIS patients who underwent emergency MRI including both DWI and ASL, and who exhibited DWI high-intensity lesions corresponding to neurological symptoms. We investigated the relationship between the ASL results from within and/or around DWI lesions and the final clinical diagnosis. Results: Eighty-five cases were included (mean age, 71 ± 13 years; 47 men). The time from onset to the MRI examination was 493 ± 536 minutes. ASL showed hyperintensity in 13 patients, isointensity in 43, and hypointensity in 29. All ASL hyperintensities were observed in the cortex, with 4 patients (31%) presenting with AIS and 9 (69%) with an epileptic disorder. All of the AIS patients with ASL hyperintensity were diagnosed with cardioembolic stroke (4/4, 100%), with magnetic resonance angiography demonstrating recanalization of the occluded artery in all cases (4/4, 100%). In the 9 patients with an epileptic disorder, the area of ASL hyperintensity typically extended beyond the vascular territory (7/9, 78%) and involved the ipsilateral thalamus (7/9, 78%). All patients with ASL isointensity and hypointensity were diagnosed with AIS; none had epileptic disorders. Conclusions: Although cortical ASL hyperintensity can indicate cardioembolic stroke with recanalization, hyperintensity beyond the vascular territory may alternatively suggest an epileptic disorder in suspected AIS patients with DWI lesions.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine