Introduction / Hypothesis: Diffusion/perfusion mismatch (MM) is commonly used to assess tissue at risk in stroke patients. In small subcortical infarcts (SSI) the reverse pattern i.e. “inverse mismatch” (IM) has been shown . We aimed to evaluate the frequency and characteristics of IM in a larger cohort using two different perfusion diffusion analysis approaches.
Methods: We enrolled 129 patients with SSI within 24 hours of symptom onset (1000+ study, NCT00715533) comprising 44 infarcts of the thalamus, 9 located juxtacortically, 58 in the anterior choroidal artery, 18 in the lenticulostriate territory. Lesion volumes were assessed on DWI images using AnToNIa software. To evaluate perfusion maps a time-shift insensitive technique using a block-circulant matrix for deconvolution (oSVD)  was employed. Perfusion lesions were evaluated on MTT and Tmax (delay >2s and >6s) maps. A perfusion/diffusion ratio of 0.7 was used to define IM and 1.3 to define mismatch (MM).
Results: Results are summarized in table1. For all types of data analysis and all time points, IM was the by far most frequent pathophysiological pattern. Obviously, IM was seen most often at Tmax>6s, but it was still clearly observed with looser thresholds (Tmax>2s, MTT). At earlier time of onset IM occurred less often, but was still the most frequent pattern (p=0.0026). No significant association between infarct location and perfusion pattern was observed
Conclusion: IM is the most common pathophysiological constellation in SSI. We hypothesize that this is due to a lack of collateral circulation in these “endstream infarcts” and that the diffusion changes in areas without perfusion deficit reflect cytotoxic mechanisms.
1. Doege CA et al. AJNR 2003;24:1355-63
2. Wu O et al. Magn Reson Med 2003;50:164-174