Patients with large vessel occlusion and target mismatch on imaging may be thrombectomy candidates in the extended time window. However, the ability of imaging modalities including non-contrast CT Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomographic Scoring (CT ASPECTS), CT angiography collateral score (CTA-CS), diffusion-weighted MRI ASPECTS (DWI ASPECTS), DWI lesion volume, and DWI volume with clinical deficit (DWI + NIHSS), to identify mismatch is unknown.
We defined target mismatch as core infarct (DWI volume) of < 70 mL, mismatch volume (tissue with TMax > 6 s) of ≥ 15 mL, and mismatch ratio of ≥ 1.8. Using experimental dismantling design, ability to identify this profile was determined for each imaging modality independently (phase 1) and then with knowledge from preceding modalities (phase 2). We used a generalized mixed model assuming binary distribution with PROC GLIMMIX/SAS for analysis.
We identified 32 patients with anterior circulation occlusions, presenting > 6 h from symptom onset, with National Institute of Health Stroke Scale of ≥ 6, who had CT and MR before thrombectomy. Sensitivities for identifying target mismatch increased modestly from 88% for NCCT to 91% with the addition of CTA-CS, and up to 100% for all MR-based modalities. Significant gains in specificity were observed from successive tests (29, 19, and 16% increase for DWI ASPECTS, DWI volume, and DWI + NIHSS, respectively).
The combination of NCCT ASPECTS and CTA-CS has high sensitivity for identifying the target mismatch in the extended time window. However, there are gains in specificity with MRI-based imaging, potentially identifying treatment candidates who may have been excluded based on CT imaging alone 1).