Oxygen Extraction Fraction and Stroke Risk in Patients with Carotid Stenosis or Occlusion: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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American Journal of Neuroradiology


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Increased oxygen extraction fraction on PET has been considered a risk factor for stroke in patients with carotid stenosis or occlusion, though the strength of this association has recently been questioned. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the association between increased oxygen extraction fraction and ipsilateral stroke risk. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was performed. We included studies with baseline PET oxygen extraction fraction testing, ipsilateral stroke as the primary outcome, and at least 1 year of follow-up. A meta-analysis was performed by use of a random-effects model. RESULTS: After screening 2158 studies, 7 studies with 430 total patients with mean 30-month follow-up met inclusion criteria. We found that 6 of 7 studies were amenable to meta-analysis. Although 4 of the 6 studies independently did not reach statistical significance, meta-analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between abnormal oxygen extraction fraction and future ipsilateral stroke, with a pooled OR of 6.04 (95% CI, 2.58–14.12). There was no statistically significant difference in OR in the subgroup analyses according to testing method or disease site. CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal oxygen extraction fraction remains a powerful predictor of stroke in carotid stenosis or occlusion and is a valuable reference standard to compare and validate MR imaging–based measures of brain oxygen metabolism. However, there is a need for further evaluation of oxygen extraction fraction testing in patients with high-grade but asymptomatic carotid disease.


This paper was supported in part by NIH grant R01EB013443.