Spot Sign in Acute Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Dynamic T1-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Background and Purpose—

In computed tomographic imaging of acute intracerebral hemorrhage spot sign on computed tomographic angiography has been established as a marker for hematoma expansion and poor clinical outcome. Although, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can accurately visualize acute intracerebral hemorrhage, a corresponding MRI marker is lacking to date.


We prospectively examined 50 consecutive patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage within 24 hours of symptom onset. The MRI protocol consisted of a standard stroke protocol and dynamic contrast-enhanced T1-weighted imaging with a time resolution of 7.07 s/batch. Stroke scores were assessed at admission and at time of discharge. Volume measurements of hematoma size and spot sign were performed with MRIcron.


Contrast extravasation within sites of the hemorrhage (MRI spot sign) was seen in 46% of the patients. Patients with an MRI spot sign had a significantly shorter time to imaging than those without (P<0.001). The clinical outcome measured by the modified Rankin Scale was significantly worse in patients with spot sign compared with those without (P≤0.001). Hematoma expansion was observed in the spot sign group compared with the nonspot sign group, although the differences were not significant.


Spot sign can be detected using MRI on postcontrast T1-weighted and dynamic T1-weighted images. It is associated with worse clinical outcome. The time course of contrast extravasation in dynamic T1 images indicates that these spots represent ongoing bleeding.

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