Stroke Mechanisms in Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease: Classification and Clinical Implications
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AbstractBackground and Purpose—
In patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis, identifying the underlying stroke mechanisms may inform secondary prevention. We aimed to propose reproducible classification criteria for stroke mechanisms based on routine neuroimaging in symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis and explore their clinical implications.
We recruited patients with acute ischemic stroke attributed to 50% to 99% intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis in anterior circulation from 2 centers. Two investigators independently classified probable stroke mechanisms as parent artery atherosclerosis occluding penetrating artery, artery-to-artery embolism, hypoperfusion, and mixed mechanisms, with prespecified criteria based on infarct topography and magnetic resonance/computed tomography angiography. These stroke mechanisms were correlated with features of the patients at baseline and recurrent ischemic stroke in the same territory or relevant transient ischemic attack within 1 year.
Among 153 patients recruited, the most common stroke mechanisms were isolated hypoperfusion (35.3%) and mixed mechanism of artery-to-artery embolism and hypoperfusion (37.3%) that was associated with higher incidence of dyslipidemia (P=0.045) and hypertension (P=0.033) than patients with other stroke mechanisms. The proposed criteria showed substantial to excellent intrarater and interrater reproducibilities (κ, 0.791–0.908). Overall, 31 patients received interventional treatment of the diseased intracranial artery; 122 received medical treatment, among whom a mixed mechanism of artery-to-artery embolism and hypoperfusion at baseline was associated with higher risk of ischemic stroke in the same territory within 1 year (24.4% versus 7.8%; hazard ratio, 3.40; 95% CI, 1.25–9.20; log-rank P=0.010) than other mechanisms combined.
Artery-to-artery embolism and hypoperfusion commonly coexist in ischemic stroke attributed to intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis, which may be associated with higher risk of stroke relapse.
All Author(s) ListFeng X, Chan KL, Lan L, Abrigo J, Liu J, Fang H, Xu Y, Soo Y, Leng X, Leung TW
Journal nameStroke
Volume Number50
Issue Number10
Pages2692 - 2699
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2021-20-01 at 00:04