BACKGROUND: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) biomarkers can be used to quantify microstructural changes in the cerebral white matter (WM) following injury.

OBJECTIVES: This prospective single-center study aimed to evaluate whether atlas-based DTI-derived metrics obtained within 1 week after stroke can predict the motor outcome at 3 months.

METHODS: Forty patients with small acute stroke (2-7 days after onset) involving the corticospinal tract were included. Each patient underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within 1 week and at 3 months after stroke, and the changes based on DTI-derived metrics were compared by performing WM tract atlas-based quantitative analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 40 patients were included, with median age 63.5 years and a majority of males (72.5%). Patients were classified into good-prognosis group (mRS 0-2, n = 27) and poor-prognosis group (mRS 3-5, n = 13) by outcome. The median (25th-75th percentile) of MD (0.7 (0.6-0.7) vs. 0.7 (0.7-0.8); p = 0.049) and AD (0.6 (0.5, 0.7) vs. 0.7 (0.6, 0.8); p = 0.023) ratios within 1 week were significantly lower in the poor-prognosis group compared to the good-prognosis group. The ROC curve of the combined DTI-derived metrics model showed comparable Youden index (65.5% vs. 58.4%-65.4%) and higher specificity (96.3% vs. 69.2%-88.5%) compared to clinical indexes. The area under the ROC curve of the combined DTI-derived metrics model is comparable to those of the clinical indexes (all p > 0.1) and higher than those of the individual DTI-derived metrics parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: Atlas-based DTI-derived metrics at acute stage provide objective information for prognosis prediction of patients with ischemic or lacunar stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Male
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging/methods
  • Stroke/diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prognosis
  • Biomarkers


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