FOCUS ON BIOMARKERS
Magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers of ischemic stroke: Criteria for the validation of primary imaging biomarkers
Further large, randomized trials will enable us to overcome the limitations of current MRI biomarkers of acute ischemic stroke and validate new biomarkers
by S. Pedraza, J. Puig, G. Blasco, J. Daunis-i-estadella, I. Boada, A. Bardera, A. Prats, M. Castellanos and J. Serena
Ischemic stroke is associated with a high rate of disability and death. Establishing valid biomarkers could help accelerate the approval of promising new therapies for stroke. Whereas many serum biomarkers have been evaluated, possible imaging biomarkers of stroke lack validation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a very sensitive technique to study acute stroke and MRI parameters have been established to assess the outcome of acute stroke. This review reassesses the criteria for the validation of MRI biomarkers of acute ischemic stroke (MRI-BAS). Seven criteria were used to review the validity of the main MRI-BAS: vascular status, lesion volume, reversibility on diffusion-weighted imaging, perfusion alteration, penumbra studied with diffusion-perfusion mismatch, clinical-diffusion mismatch, diffusion-angiography mismatch and hemorrhagic transformation. We analyzed the definitions of these biomarkers and the extent to which each fulfills the criteria for validation and found that few MRI-BAS have been fully validated. Further studies should help to improve the validation of current MRI-BAS and develop new biomarkers.