Overestimation of Susceptibility Vessel Sign: A Predictive Marker of Stroke Cause

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Background and Purpose—

The extent of blooming artifact may reflect the amount of paramagnetic material. We thus assessed the overestimation ratio of susceptibility vessel sign (SVS) on susceptibility-weighted imaging, defined as the extent of SVS width beyond the lumen and examined its value for predicting the stroke cause in acute ischemic stroke patients.


We included consecutive acute ischemic stroke patients with proximal large artery occlusion who underwent both susceptibility-weighted imaging and time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography within 8 hours poststroke onset. We calculated the length, width, and overestimation ratio of SVS on susceptibility-weighted imaging and then investigated their values for predicting the stroke cause, respectively.


One-hundred eleven consecutive patients (72 female; mean age, 66.6±13.4 years) were enrolled, among whom 39 (35.1%) were diagnosed with cardiogenic embolism, 43 (38.7%) with large artery atherosclerosis, and 29 (26.1%) with undetermined cause. The presence, length, width, and overestimation ratio of SVS were all independently associated with the cause of cardiogenic embolism after adjusting for baseline National Institute of Health Stroke Scale and infarct volume. After excluded patients with undetermined cause, the sensitivity and specificity of overestimation ratio of SVS for cardiogenic embolism were 0.971 and 0.913; for the length of SVS, they were 0.629 and 0.739; for the width of SVS, they were 0.829 and 0.826, respectively.


The overestimation ratio of SVS can predict cardiogenic embolism, with both high sensitivity and specificity, which can be helpful for the management of acute ischemic stroke patients in hyperacute stage.

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