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In NeuroImage. Clinical

Current thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) treatment strictly relies on the time since stroke (TSS) less than 4.5 h. However, some patients are excluded from thrombolytic treatment because of the unknown TSS. The diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) mismatch can simply identify TSS since lesion intensities are not identical at different onset time. In this paper, we propose an automatic machine learning method to classify the TSS less than or more than 4.5 h. First, we develop a cross-modal convolutional neural network to accurately segment the stroke lesions from DWI and FLAIR images. Second, the features are extracted from DWI and FLAIR according to the segmentation regions of interest (ROI). Finally, the features are fed to machine learning models to identify TSS. In DWI and FLAIR ROI segmentation, the networks obtain high Dice coefficients with 0.803 and 0.647. The classification test results show that our model achieves an accuracy of 0.805, with a sensitivity of 0.769 and a specificity of 0.840. Our approach outperforms human reading DWI-FLAIR mismatch model, illustrating the potential for automatic and fast TSS identification.

Zhu Haichen, Jiang Liang, Zhang Hong, Luo Limin, Chen Yang, Chen Yuchen


Machine learning, Magnetic resonance imaging, Segmentation and classification, Time since stroke