Visual Grading System for Vasospasm Based on Perfusion CT Imaging: Comparisons with Conventional Angiography and Quantitative Perfusion CT

Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Cerebrovascular Diseases (Impact Factor: 3.75). 06/2008; 26(2):163-70. DOI: 10.1159/000139664
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to compare simple visual grading of perfusion CT (PCT) maps to a more quantitative, threshold-based interpretation of PCT parameters in the characterization of presence and severity of vasospasm.
Thirty-three patients with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage were enrolled in a prospective study and underwent a total of 40 paired PCT and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) examinations. A neuroradiologist and a neurologist reviewed the PCT mean transit time (MTT), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and cerebral blood volume maps independently; they evaluated five anatomical regions (frontal, temporal, parietal, occipital/thalami, and basal ganglia/insula) and graded them for abnormality (0 if normal, 1 if abnormal in <50% of the region, and 2 if abnormal in >or=50% of the region). A third neuroradiologist blinded to the PCT results reviewed the DSA examinations and assessed 19 segments for the presence or absence of vasospasm. Correlation between PCT and DSA scores was assessed, as well as the sensitivity and specificity of PCT compared to DSA used as a gold standard.
MTT (R(2) = 0.939) and CBF (R(2) = 0.907) scores correlated best with DSA scores (p < 0.001). MTT scoring had a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 86% compared to DSA; CBF scoring had a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 95%. The interobserver agreement between neuroradiologist and neurologist was found to have kappa = 0.789 for MTT and 0.658 for CBF.
We propose a user-friendly visual grading system for PCT maps in patients with suspected vasospasm. This visual approach compares favorably to the results of DSA. Sensitive MTT maps should be used for screening, and specific CBF maps for confirmation of vasospasm.

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    • "The acquisition of PCT maps is, as well, dependent on the examiner. However, PCT maps are color-coded and detection of asymmetries or bilateral defects compared to other vessel territory is rather reliable and of acceptable interobserver variability [7] Wintermark et al. proposed a user-friendly visual grading system which was used in this study [8]. The authors found that the Mean Transit Time (MTT), a parameter similar to the Time to Peak obtained in our study had the highest accuracy to predict angiographic vasospasm [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. If detected in time, delayed cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) may be treated by balloon angioplasty or chemical vasospasmolysis in order to enhance cerebral blood flow (CBF) and protect the brain from ischemic damage. This study was conceived to compare the diagnostic accuracy of detailed neurological examination, Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD), and Perfusion-CT (PCT) to detect angiographic vasospasm. Methods. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of delayed ischemic neurological deterioration (DIND), pathological findings on PCT-maps, and accelerations of the mean flow velocity (MVF) were calculated. Results. The accuracy of DIND to predict angiographic vasospasm was 0.88. An acceleration of MFV in TCD (>140 cm/s) had an accuracy of 0.64, positive PCT-findings of 0.69 with a higher sensitivity, and negative predictive value than TCD. Interpretation. Neurological assessment at close intervals is the most sensitive and specific parameter for cerebral vasospasm. PCT has a higher accuracy, sensitivity and negative predictive value than TCD. If detailed neurological evaluation is possible, it should be the leading parameter in the management and treatment decisions. If patients are not amenable to detailed neurological examination, PCT at regular intervals is a helpful tool to diagnose secondary vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH.
    09/2012; 2012:231206. DOI:10.1155/2012/231206
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    Interventional Neuroradiology 09/2008; 14 Suppl 1:17-22. · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is thought to cause ischemia. To evaluate the contribution of vasospasm to delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), we investigated the effect of vasospasm on cerebral perfusion and the relationship of vasospasm with DCI. We studied 37 consecutive SAH patients with CT angiography (CTA) and CT perfusion (CTP) on admission and within 14 days after admission or at time of clinical deterioration. CTP values (cerebral blood volume, cerebral blood flow (CBF) and mean transit time), degree of vasospasm on CTA, and occurrence of DCI were recorded. Vasospasm was categorized as follows: no spasm (0-25% decrease in vessel diameter), moderate spasm (25-50% decrease), and severe spasm (>50% decrease). The correspondence of the flow territory of the most spastic vessel with the least perfused region was evaluated, and differences in perfusion values and occurrence of DCI between degrees of vasospasm were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Fourteen patients had no vasospasm, 16 were moderate, and seven were severe. In 65% of patients with spasm, the flow territory of the most spastic vessel corresponded with the least perfused region. There was significant CBF (milliliters per 100 g per minute) difference (-21.3; 95% CI, -37 <--> -5.3) between flow territories of severe and no vasospasm. Four of seven patients with severe, six of 16 with moderate, and three of 14 patients with no vasospasm had DCI. Vasospasm decreases cerebral perfusion, but corresponds with the least perfused region in only two thirds of our patients. Furthermore, almost half of patients with severe vasospasm do not have DCI. Thus, although severe vasospasm can decrease perfusion, it may not result in DCI.
    Neuroradiology 08/2009; 51(12):813-9. DOI:10.1007/s00234-009-0575-y · 2.49 Impact Factor
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