Blood-Brain Barrier Leakage: A New Biomarker in Transient Ischemic Attacks

Yonatan Serlin, Jonathan Ofer, Gal Ben-Arie, Ronel Veksler, Gal Ifergane, Ilan Shelef, Jeffrey Minuk, Anat Horev, Alon Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - The diagnosis of transient ischemic attack is challenging. Evidence of acute ischemia on MRI diffusion-weighted imaging is highly variable and confirmed in only about one-third of patients. This study investigated the significance of blood-brain barrier dysfunction (BBBD) mapping in patients with transient neurological deficits, as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker required for risk stratification and stroke prevention. Methods - We used dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI to quantitatively map BBBD in a prospective cohort study of 57 patients diagnosed with transient ischemic attack/minor stroke and 50 healthy controls. Results - Brain volume with BBBD was significantly higher in patients compared with controls (P=0.002). BBBD localization corresponded with the clinical presentation in 41 patients (72%) and was more extensive in patients with acute infarct on diffusion-weighted imaging (P=0.05). Patients who developed new stroke during follow-up had a significantly greater BBBD at the initial presentation (P=0.03) with a risk ratio of 5.35 for recurrent stroke. Conclusions - This is the first description of the extent and localization of BBBD in patients with transient ischemic attack/minor stroke. We propose BBBD mapping as a valuable tool for detection of subtle brain ischemia and a promising predictive biomarker required for risk stratification and stroke prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1269
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • biomarker
  • blood-brain barrier
  • infarction
  • ischemic attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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