To study the rules that apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) changes with time and space in cerebral infarction, and to provide the evidence in defining the infarction stages.
117 work-ups in 98 patients with cerebral infarction (12 hyperacute, 43 acute, 29 subacute, 10 steady, and 23 chronic infarctions) were imaged with both conventional MRI and diffusion weighted imaging. The average ADC values, the relative ADC (rADC) values, and the ADC values or rADC values from the center to the periphery of the lesion were calculated.
The average ADC values and the rADC values of hyperacute and acute infarction lesion depressed obviously. rADC values in hyperacute and acute stage was minimized, and increased progressively as time passed and appeared as "pseudonormal" values in approximately 8 to 14 days. Thereafter, rADC values became greater than normal in chronic stage. There was positive correlation between rADC values and time (P < 0.01). The ADC values and the rADC values in hyperacute and acute lesions had gradient signs that these lesions increased from the center to the periphery. The ADC values and the rADC values in subacute lesions had adverse gradient signs that these lesions decreased from the center to the periphery.
The ADC values of infarction lesions have evolution rules with time and space. The evolution rules with time and those in space can be helpful to decide the clinical stage, and to provide the evidence in guiding the treatment or judging the prognosis in infarction.