Background and Purpose: To determine factors associated with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintense arteries (FLAIR-HAs) on magnetic resonance imaging and their prognostic significance in thrombolysis-treated patients with acute ischemic stroke from the ENCHANTED (Enhanced Control of Hypertension and Thrombolysis Stroke Study) trial alteplase-dose arm. Methods: Patients with acute ischemic stroke (N=293) with brain magnetic resonance imaging (FLAIR and diffusion-weighted imaging sequences) scanned <4.5 hours of symptom onset were assessed for location and extent (score) of FLAIR-HAs, infarct volume, large vessel occlusion (LVO), and other ischemic signs. Logistic regression models were used to determine predictors of FLAIR-HAs and the association of FLAIR-HAs with 90-day outcomes: favorable functional outcome (primary; modified Rankin Scale scores, 0-1), other modified Rankin Scale scores, and intracerebral hemorrhage. Results: Prior atrial fibrillation, LVO, large infarct volume, and anterior circulation infarction were independently associated with FLAIR-HAs. The rate of modified Rankin Scale scores 0 to 1 was numerically lower in patients with FLAIR-HAs versus without (69/152 [45.4%] versus 75/131 [57.3%]), as was the subset of LVO (37/93 [39.8%] versus 9/16 [56.3%]), but not in those without LVO (25/36 [69.4%] versus 60/106 [56.6%]). After adjustment for covariables, FLAIR-HAs were independently associated with increased primary outcome (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]: overall 4.14 [1.63-10.50]; with LVO 4.92 [0.87-27.86]; no LVO 6.16 [1.57-24.14]) despite an increased risk of hemorrhagic infarct (4.77 [1.12-20.26]). Conclusions: FLAIR-HAs are more frequent in acute ischemic stroke with cardioembolic features and indicate potential for a favorable prognosis in thrombolysis-treated patients possibly mediated by LVO. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01422616.
- atrial fibrillation
- magnetic resonance imaging