Blood-brain barrier integrity of stroke patients presenting in an extended time window

Jarrhett Butler, Parisa Heidari, Sarah Blayney, Emi Hitomi, Marie Luby, Richard Leigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Current guidelines limit thrombolytic treatment of stroke to those patients who present within 4.5 h to minimize the risk of hemorrhagic complications. Risk of hemorrhage increases with increasing blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption. This study aimed to determine, in a cohort of patients presenting outside of an IV-tPA treatment window, whether disruption of the BBB is time dependent, and what proportion of patients could be safely treated. Methods: We analyzed untreated stroke patients, seen between 2011 and 2015, who had MRI studies in the time window of 4 to 24 h from symptoms onset. Permeability of the BBB was measured within the ischemic tissue using an application of dynamic susceptibility contrast imaging. Patients were dichotomized into two groups based on a 20% threshold of BBB disruption and compared using logistic regression. Results: Of the 222 patients included in the final analysis, over half, 129 (58%), had preserved BBB integrity below the 20% threshold. There was no relationship between time imaged after symptom onset and the amount of BBB disruption (p = 0.138) across the population; BBB disruption varied widely. Conclusions: Estimating BBB integrity may help to expand the treatment window for stroke patients by identifying those individuals for whom thrombolytic therapy can be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalBMC neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 13 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Extended time window
  • Permeability imaging
  • Stroke
  • Thrombolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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