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Original research
Variable MR and pathologic patterns of hemorrhage after iodinated contrast infusion in MCA occlusion/reperfusion model
  1. Humberto Morales1,
  2. Aigang Lu2,
  3. Yuko Kurosawa2,
  4. Joseph F Clark2,
  5. Thomas Tomsick1
  1. 1Department of Radiology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Humberto Morales, Department of Radiology, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, 234 Goodman Street, ML 0762, Cincinnati, OH 45219, USA; moralehc{at}


Objective To examine the hypothesis that IA reperfusion with iso-osmolar iodixanol, low-osmolar iopamidol, or saline causes different effects on MR signal changes and pathologic cut-brain section related to hemorrhagic transformation (HT) or iodinated radiographic contrast media (IRCM) deposition.

Methods Infarct was induced in 30 rats by middle cerebral artery suture occlusion. Reperfusion was performed after 5 hours with iso-osmolar iodixanol (n=9), low-osmolar iopamidol (n=12) or saline (n=9). MR images were obtained immediately after reperfusion and rats were sacrificed at 24 hours. Hypointense areas within the infarction on T2-weighted (T2-WI) or gradient echo (GRE) images were recorded and compared with HT on pathology. Fisher's exact test was used for proportions, and receiver operator curve analysis to evaluate MRI discrimination of hemorrhage.

Results Two types of HT were noted on pathology: confluent >0.2 mm petechial hemorrhage (PeH, 78%) or well-defined ≤0.2 mm hemorrhagic focus (HF, 22%). PeH was least common in the iodixanol subgroup (p<0.02). HF was more common in the IRCM group. Hypointense areas on T2-WI but not on GRE were significantly more common in the IRCM group (p<0.05). Hypointense areas on T2-WI and GRE discriminated HT (area under the curve: 0.714, p<0.002).

Conclusions IRCM and saline induced different MRI signal and pathologic patterns in our sample. We postulate that T2 hypointensity with no GRE hypointensity might be associated with IRCM deposition; and decreased frequency of PeH after iodixanol infusion and the presence of HF almost exclusively in the IRCM group might represent a direct/indirect effect of contrast infusion/deposition in the brain parenchyma after reperfusion. Our results support previous observations in IMS III and are hypothesis generating.

  • Stroke
  • Hemorrhage
  • MRI

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  • Presented at the Annual Meeting of the ASNR - American Society of Neuroradiology, Chicago, 2015.

  • Contributors HM: performed the experiment, analysis and wrote the paper. AL and YK: performed the experiment and edited the paper. JFC: wrote and edited the paper. TT: designed the experiment and wrote and edited the paper.

  • Funding This research was supported by grant: 2008 American Society of Neuroradiology, Neuroradiology Education and Research Fund (NERF), via the Boston Scientific Fellowship in Cerebrovascular Disease Research Award to HM, principal investigator. It was also supported by a grant from the Society of Interventional Surgery for purchase of the custom rat head coil.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The database and images are under the supervision of the principal investigator and could be shared with the editorial team if necessary.