Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a clinically relevant, real-time imaging modality that is frequently utilized to assess stroke type and severity. However, specific MRI biomarkers that can be used to predict long-term functional recovery are still a critical need. Consequently, the present study sought to examine the prognostic value of commonly utilized MRI parameters to predict functional outcomes in a porcine model of ischemic stroke. Stroke was induced via permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. At 24 hours post-stroke, MRI analysis revealed focal ischemic lesions, decreased diffusivity, hemispheric swelling, and white matter degradation. Functional deficits including behavioral abnormalities in open field and novel object exploration as well as spatiotemporal gait impairments were observed at 4 weeks post-stroke. Gaussian graphical models identified specific MRI outputs and functional recovery variables, including white matter integrity and gait performance, that exhibited strong conditional dependencies. Canonical correlation analysis revealed a prognostic relationship between lesion volume and white matter integrity and novel object exploration and gait performance. Consequently, these analyses may also have the potential of predicting patient recovery at chronic time points as pigs and humans share many anatomical similarities (e.g., white matter composition) that have proven to be critical in ischemic stroke pathophysiology. The study was approved by the University of Georgia (UGA) Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC; Protocol Number: A2014-07-021-Y3-A11 and 2018-01-029-Y1-A5) on November 22, 2017.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience