Intracranial plaque enhancement from high resolution vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging predicts stroke recurrence

Jeong Min Kim, Keun Hwa Jung, Chul Ho Sohn, Jangsup Moon, Jung Hwan Shin, Jaeseok Park, Seung Hoon Lee, Moon Hee Han, Jae Kyu Roh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Intracranial atherosclerosis is associated with frequent stroke recurrence. High resolution vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging (HRMRI) can provide atheroma information related to its vulnerability. Aims: We performed HRMRI in stroke patients with intracranial atherosclerosis to determine whether plaque characteristics from vessel wall imaging can predict future stroke recurrence. Methods: Between July 2011 and June 2013, acute stroke patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis were prospectively enrolled and 3-tesla HRMRI was performed on the relevant artery. The plaque enhancement was visually determined from T1 post-gadolinium enhancement image. Stroke recurrence was monitored after index event and multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was constructed to identify factors related to future stroke recurrence. Results: A total of 138 patients were included with a median follow-up of 18 months. There were 39 stroke recurrences. Plaque enhancement was detected in 108 patients (78.3%), and 37 of them experienced stroke recurrence. Among 30 stroke patients without plaque enhancement, two patients experienced stroke recurrence. Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated a significant difference in event free survival between the patients with plaque enhancement and those patients without plaque enhancement (event rates at year 1: 30.3% vs. 6.8%, log-rank test, p = 0.004). Multivariate Cox-regression analysis showed that the plaque enhancement from HRMRI was independently associated with stroke recurrence (hazard ratio: 7.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.74-31.75, p = 0.007). Conclusion: Intracranial plaque enhancement from HRMRI is associated with stroke recurrence among the patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 World Stroke Organization.


  • Atherosclerosis
  • cerebral infarction
  • vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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