Author(s): Parsons MW
BACKGROUND: The prognostic value of the biochemical changes seen with proton MR spectroscopy (1H MRS) in ischemic stroke was examined. Acute diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) was used to identify regions of ischemia for 1H MRS voxel localization.
METHODS: Nineteen patients had 36 1H MRS studies, 13 patients acutely (mean, 11.1 hours), 10 subacutely (mean, 3.9 days), and 13 at outcome (mean, 82 days). Single-voxel, long-echo, timepoint-resolved spectroscopy was used to obtain lactate, n-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, and creatine levels from the infarct core. Outcome measures were final infarct volume and clinical assessment scales (Canadian Neurological Scale, Barthel Index, and Rankin Scale).
RESULTS: Acute lactate/choline ratio correlated more strongly with clinical outcome scores (r = 0.76 to 0.83; p < 0.01) and final infarct size (r = 0. 96; p < 0.01) than acute DWI lesion volume or acute NAA/choline ratio. Combination of acute lactate/choline ratio with acute DWI lesion volume improved prediction of all outcome scores (R2 = 0.80 to 0.90). The predictive effect of acute lactate/choline ratio was independent of acute DWI lesion volume (p < 0.001). In subacute and chronic infarction, both lactate/choline and NAA/choline ratios continued to correlate with outcome (p < 0.05). At the chronic stage, persistent lactate/choline ratio elevation strongly correlated with outcome measures (r = 0.71 to 0.87).
CONCLUSION: Lactate/choline ratio measured in the acute infarct core by 1H MRS improves the prediction of stroke outcome and provides prognostic information complementary to DWI. Lactate/choline ratio could be used as an additional marker to select patients for acute and chronic therapies.International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation