Purpose: Vessel wall MRI (VW-MRI) can be used to evaluate the nature of intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) plaque in vivo. Phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) participates in stroke development. This study aims to explore the value of VW-MRI findings and the PDE4D gene variant in predicting stroke recurrence in patients with ICAS. Methods: We prospectively recruited 324 symptomatic ICAS patients. VW-MRI was performed to determine luminal and wall changes. PDE4D gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)—namely, SNP32, SNP83, and SNP87—were determined by direct sequencing. The risk factors of stroke recurrence were analyzed using the multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Of the 324 subjects, 97 (29.9%) experienced recurrent ischemic stroke during the follow-up period. A total of 254 patients (78.4%) showed plaque enhancement; 87 of these patients experienced stroke recurrence. The CT/CC genotype frequencies of PDE4D83 were significantly higher in participants with recurrent stroke than in patients without stroke recurrence (p = 0.019 and p < 0.001, respectively). However, the PDE4D32 and PDE4D87 variants were not correlated with recurrent stroke. Multivariate analysis showed that plaque enhancement from VW-MRI (HR 4.52, 95% CI 2.35–8.73, p < 0.001) and the PDE4D83 variant (HR 7.43, 95% CI 1.75–31.87, p = 0.005) were independently correlated with stroke recurrence. Kaplan–Meier curves showed significant differences in stroke recurrence rates between the plaque-enhanced group and the non-enhanced group (p < 0.001) and between the PDE4D83 variant carriers and noncarriers (p = 0.002). Conclusion: Plaque enhancement on VW-MRI and the presence of the PDE4D83 variant are associated with ischemic stroke recurrence in subjects with symptomatic ICAS.
- Imaging markers
- Phosphodiesterase 4D
- Stroke recurrence
- Vessel wall magnetic resonance imaging