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The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of cerebral water, as measured by diffusion MRI, rapidly decreases in ischaemia, highlighting a lesion in acute stroke patients. The MRI T 2 relaxation time changes in ischaemic brain such that T 2 in ADC lesions may be informative of the extent of tissue damage, potentially aiding in stratification for treatment. We have developed a novel user-unbiased method of determining the changes in T 2 in ADC lesions as a function of clinical symptom duration based on voxel-wise referencing to a contralateral brain volume. The spherical reference method calculates the most probable pre-ischaemic T 2 on a voxel-wise basis, making use of features of the contralateral hemisphere presumed to be largely unaffected. We studied whether T 2 changes in the two main cerebral tissue types, i.e. in grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM), would differ in stroke. Thirty-eight acute stroke patients were accrued within 9 h of symptom onset and scanned at 3 T for 3D T 1-weighted, multi b-value diffusion and multi-echo spin echo MRI for tissue type segmentation, quantitative ADC and absolute T 2 images, respectively. T 2 changes measured by the spherical reference method were 1.94  ±  0.61, 1.50  ±  0.52 and 1.40  ±  0.54 ms h-1 in the whole, GM, and WM lesions, respectively. Thus, T 2 time courses were comparable between GM and WM independent of brain tissue type involved. We demonstrate that T 2 changes in ADC-delineated lesions can be quantified in the clinical setting in a user unbiased manner and that T 2 change correlated with symptom onset time, opening the possibility of using the approach as a tool to assess severity of tissue damage in the clinical setting.

Original publication

DOI

10.1088/1361-6560/ab1442

Type

Journal article

Journal

Physics in medicine and biology

Publication Date

29/04/2019

Volume

64

Pages

095016 - 095016

Addresses

School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol, 12a Priory Rd, Bristol BS8 1TU, United Kingdom.