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Case series
Interaction between time, ASPECTS, and clinical mismatch


Background Imaging-based patient selection for neurothrombectomy is reliant on the identification of irreversibly damaged brain tissue (core) and salvageable tissue (penumbra). The DAWN trial used the clinical-core mismatch (CCM) paradigm (clinical deficit out of proportion to infarct volume). We aim to determine the prevalence of CCM in large vessel occlusion (LVO) strokes and study the impact of time and the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) on the likelihood of mismatch.

Methods We performed a retrospective observational analysis of internal carotid artery/middle cerebral artery M1 occlusions with available advanced imaging (relative cerebral blood flow/MRI). We used automated software for infarct volume analysis and ASPECTS determination. The prevalence of CCM and the impact of time and ASPECTS were analyzed.

Result One hundred and eighty-five LVO strokes were included. Mean age was 71±15 years and median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 17 (range 12–21). Mean ischemic core volume was 50±69 mL. Within 0–24 hours, CCM was present in 53% and ranged from 63% in 0–3 hours to 25% at 21–24 hours (p=0.03). Prevalence of mismatch reduced 1.6% for every 1 hour increase in time to imaging. CCM prevalence by ASPECTS groups was: ASPECTS 9–10: 77%, ASPECTS 6–8: 65%, ASPECTS 0–5: 13% (p<0.01), with a 6.4% decrement for every 1 point decrease in ASPECTS. The prevalence of mismatch did not diminish over time among ASPECTS groups and higher ASPECTS was an independent predictor of CCM (OR 1.4 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.7), p<0.001).

Conclusions CCM is present in 57% and 50% of LVO strokes in the 0–6 and 6–24 hour window, respectively. The prevalence of mismatch declines with increasing time (1.6%/hour) and decreasing ASPECTS (6.4%/point). Among ASPECTS groups the prevalence of mismatch does not decline over time. These data support the use of an ASPECTS-based paradigm for late window patient selection.

  • stroke
  • blood flow
  • intervention

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