Design of stroke imaging package study of intracranial atherosclerosis: a multicenter, prospective, cohort study

Qianqian Lin, Xiaoyun Liu, Beilei Chen, Daishi Tian, Changyun Liu, Ailian Du, Baoquan Lu, Guangzhi Liu, Bo Wu, Litao Li, Hui Liang, Shiwen Wu, Zhimin Shi, Tao Gong, Zhongrui Yan, Qinjian Sun, Le Fang, Lifang Zhang, Degang Sun, Mingli Li, Wei-Hai Xu, on behalf of Stroke Imaging Package Study of Intracranial Atherosclerosis (SIPS-ICAS) study group


Background: Intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) is a major cause of stroke worldwide. However, much remains unknown regarding its underlying pathophysiology. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI) can clearly display intracranial vessel wall lesions in vivo. The aim of stroke imaging package study of ICAS (SIPS-ICAS) study is to explore the stroke mechanisms of symptomatic ICAS, the dynamic changes under aggressive medical treatment and their associations with clinical events using conventional MRI sequences plus HR-MRI.
Methods: This is a multicenter, prospective, cohort study recruiting first-ever acute ischemic stroke patients attributed to intracranial large artery stenosis (>50% or occlusion). Subjects undergo a pre-designed stroke imaging packages at baseline and are recommended to receive aggressive medical treatments. Participants will be followed up for functional outcome, stroke recurrence, and death events at 3, 6 and 12 months and retake HR-MRI imaging at 6 months.
Results: Enrollment began in November 2018 and 96 patients have been enrolled as of September 2019.
Conclusions: The SIPS-ICAS study will provide insights into the pathophysiology of ICAS and identify specific imaging markers for risk stratification and prognosis prediction. At the same time, the feasibility and validity of the new stroke imaging package including HR-MRI will be assessed, which is promising for clinical routine use.