Stroke onset time determination using MRI relaxation times without non-ischaemic reference in a rat stroke model

Terry Norton, Marcelo A Pereyra, Michael Knight, Bryony Mcgarry, Kimmo T Jokivarsi, Olli H. J. Grohn, Risto A Kauppinen

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BACKGROUND: Objective timing of stroke in emergency departments is expected to improve patient stratification. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) relaxations times, T2 and T1ρ, in abnormal diffusion delineated ischaemic tissue were used as proxies of stroke time in a rat model.

METHODS: Both ‘non-ischaemic reference’-dependent and -independent estimators were generated. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), T2 and T1ρ, were sequentially quantified for up to 6 hours of stroke in rats (n = 8) at 4.7T. The ischaemic lesion was identified as a contiguous collection of voxels with low ADC. T2 and T1ρ in the ischaemic lesion and in the contralateral non-ischaemic brain tissue were determined. Differences in mean MRI relaxation times between ischaemic and non-ischaemic volumes were used to create reference-dependent estimator. For the reference-independent procedure, only the parameters associated with log-logistic fits to the T2 and T1ρ distributions within the ADC-delineated lesions were used for the onset time estimation.

RESULT: The reference-independent estimators from T2 and T1ρ data provided stroke onset time with precisions of ±32 and ±27 minutes, respectively. The reference-dependent estimators yielded respective precisions of ±47 and ±54 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS: A ‘non-ischaemic anatomical reference’-independent estimator for stroke onset time from relaxometric MRI data is shown to yield greater timing precision than previously obtained through reference-dependent procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2017

Structured keywords

  • CRICBristol
  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Cognitive Science


  • Ischaemic stroke
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • MRI relaxometry
  • stroke onset time
  • rat


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