Introduction: In acute arterial occlusion, the FLAIR vascular hyperintensity (FVH) sign have been linked to slow flow in leptomeningeal collaterals and cerebral hypoperfusion, but the impact on clinical outcome is still controversial. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between FVH-ASPECTS pattern and outcome in acute M1-MCA occlusion patients with endovascular treatment.
Methods: We included acute M1-MCA occlusion patients treated with endovascular therapy. All patients had DWI and FLAIR before endovascular therapy. Distal FVH ASPECT score was evaluated according to distal MCA-ASPECT area (M1-M6) and acute DWI lesion was also reviewed. Presence of FVH inside DWI positive lesion and outside DWI positive lesion was separately analyzed. We analyzed clinical outcome after endovascular therapy based on these different FVH-ASPECTS patterns.
Results: Among 101 patients that met inclusion criteria for the study, mean age was 66.2±17.8 and median NIHSS was 17.0 (IQR 12.0-21.0). FVH-ASPECTS measured outside of the DWI lesion was significantly higher in patients with good outcome (mRS 0-2), (8.0 vs 4.0, p<0.001). Logistic regression demonstrated that FVH-ASPECTS outside of the DWI lesion was independently associated with clinical outcome of these patients (OR 1.3, p=0.013). FVH-ASPECTS inside the DWI lesion was associated with hemorrhage transformation (OR 1.3, p=0.019).
Conclusion: Higher FVH-ASPECTS measured outside the DWI lesion is associated with good clinical outcomes in patients undergoing endovascular therapy. FVH-ASPECTS measured inside the DWI lesion was predictive of hemorrhage transformation. FVH pattern, not number, can predict outcome of acute M1-MCA occlusion patients after endovascular therapy.