Clinically Confirmed Stroke With Negative Diffusion-Weighted Imaging Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Longitudinal Study of Clinical Outcomes, Stroke Recurrence, and Systematic Review

Stephen D. Makin, Fergus N. Doubal, Martin S. Dennis, Joanna M. Wardlaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We sought to establish whether the presence (versus absence) of a lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with diffusion weighting (DWI-MRI) at presentation with acute stroke is associated with worse clinical outcomes at 1 year. METHODS: We recruited consecutive patients with a nondisabling ischemic stroke and performed DWI-MRI. Patients were followed up at 1 year to establish stroke recurrence (clinical or on MRI), cognitive impairment (Addenbrooke Cognitive Assessment Revised,1, no different from DWI-positive patients; DWI-positive patients were more likely to have a new lesion on MRI (14%), symptomatic or asymptomatic, than DWI-negative patients (2%; P=0.02). Our data were consistent with 6 other studies (total n=976), pooled proportion of DWI-negative patients was 21% (95% confidence interval, 12%-32%). CONCLUSIONS: Nearly one third of patients with nondisabling stroke do not have a relevant lesion on acute DWI-MRI. Patients with negative DWI-MRI had no better prognosis than patients with a lesion. DWI-negative stroke patients should receive secondary prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3142-3148
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2015



  • Aged Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods/*trends Female Follow-Up Studies Humans Longitudinal Studies Male Middle Aged Prospective Studies Recurrence Risk Factors Stroke/*diagnosis/epidemiology/*metabolism Treatment Outcome cognition diffusion ischemic attack, transient magnetic resonance imaging stroke

Cite this