Purpose: Infarct core can expand rapidly in acute stroke patients receiving intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV t-PA). We investigated changes in the extent of infarct core during IV t-PA treatment, and explored the associative factors of this infarct core expansion in patients with proximal artery occlusion. Materials and Methods: We included patients who were considered for sequential intra-arterial therapy (IAT) due to occlusion of intracranial proximal artery after IV t-PA. Patients who had a baseline Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography (CT) Score (ASPECTS) ≥6 and who underwent two consecutive CT scans before and shortly after IV t-PA infusion were enrolled. Patients were classified into no, moderate, and marked expansion groups based on decreases in ASPECTS (0-1, 2-3, and ≥4, respec-tively) on follow-up CT. Collateral status was graded using CT angiography. Results: Of the 104 patients, 16 (15.4%) patients showed moderate and 13 (12.5%) patients showed marked infarct core expansion on follow-up CT scans obtained at 71.1±19.1 min after baseline CT scan. Sixteen (15.4%) patients had an ASPECTS value <6 on the follow-up CT. None of the patients with marked expansion were independent at 3 months. Univariate analysis and ordinal logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the infarct core expansion was significantly associated with collateral status (p<0.001). Conclusion: Among patients who were considered for IAT after IV t-PA treatment, one out of every seven patients exhibited marked expansion of infarct core on follow-up CT before IAT. These patients tend to have poor collaterals and poor outcomes despite rescue IAT.
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