Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging is a noninvasive molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique based on the chemical exchange-dependent saturation transfer mechanism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the diagnostic performance of APT MRI in detecting intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) at hyperacute, acute and subacute stages by comparing with susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI). APT MRI and SWI were performed on 33 included patients with ICH by using a 3-T MRI unit. A two-sided Mann-Whitney U test was used to detect differences in APT-weighted (APTw) and SWI signal intensities of ICH at hyperacute, acute and subacute stages. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to assess the diagnostic utilities of APT MRI and SWI. Our results showed that APT MRI could detect ICH at hyperacute, acute and subacute stages. Therefore, APTw signal intensity may serve as a reliable, noninvasive imaging biomarker for detecting ICH at hyperacute, acute and subacute stages. Moreover, APT MRI could provide additional information for the ICH compared with SWI.
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