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Perfusion deficits detected by arterial spin-labeling in patients with TIA with negative diffusion and vascular imaging.

  • Author(s): Qiao, XJ
  • Salamon, N
  • Wang, DJJ
  • He, R
  • Linetsky, M
  • Ellingson, BM
  • Pope, WB
  • et al.

Background and purpose

A substantial portion of clinically diagnosed TIA cases is imaging-negative. The purpose of the current study is to determine if arterial spin-labeling is helpful in detecting perfusion abnormalities in patients presenting clinically with TIA.

Materials and methods

Pseudocontinuous arterial spin-labeling with 3D background-suppressed gradient and spin-echo was acquired on 49 patients suspected of TIA within 24 hours of symptom onset. All patients were free of stroke history and had no lesion-specific findings on general MR, DWI, and MRA sequences. The calculated arterial spin-labeling CBF maps were scored from 1-3 on the basis of presence and severity of perfusion disturbance by 3 independent observers blinded to patient history. An age-matched cohort of 36 patients diagnosed with no cerebrovascular events was evaluated as a control. Interobserver agreement was assessed by use of the Kendall concordance test.


Scoring of perfusion abnormalities on arterial spin-labeling scans of the TIA cohort was highly concordant among the 3 observers (W = 0.812). The sensitivity and specificity of arterial spin-labeling in the diagnosis of perfusion abnormalities in TIA was 55.8% and 90.7%, respectively. In 93.3% (70/75) of the arterial spin-labeling CBF map readings with positive scores (≥2), the brain regions where perfusion abnormalities were identified by 3 observers matched with the neurologic deficits at TIA onset.


In this preliminary study, arterial spin-labeling showed promise in the detection of perfusion abnormalities that correlated with clinically diagnosed TIA in patients with otherwise normal neuroimaging results.

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