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Effects of multiphase versus single-phase CT angiography for the detection of distal cerebral vessel occlusion

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this study was to determine whether the benefits of multiphase CTA (mCTA) over single-phase CTA (sCTA) for the detection of proximal cerebrovascular occlusions similarly extend to the distal cerebral vasculature.

Methods

Four attending radiologists, two neuroradiologists and two emergency radiologists, contributed as readers to this retrospective study. For each reader, two sessions were conducted, one using sCTA and one using mCTA. During each session, the reader interpreted the studies of 104 patients who underwent imaging for suspicion of acute ischemic stroke, resulting in a total of 832 interpretations. Changes in diagnostic accuracy, time to render final decision, and reported levels of reader confidence were quantitatively assessed. Further analysis comparing the effects for neuroradiologists versus emergency radiologists was additionally conducted.

Results

Using mCTA resulted in a significant 5.0% absolute increase in sensitivity (91.6% vs. 96.6%, p = .004) and an insignificant increase in specificity (99.5% vs. 99.7%, p = .39). A significant reduction in reading time (66.7 s vs. 59.6 s, p = .001) and an increase in diagnostic confidence (2.26 vs. 2.58, p < .001) were observed. Using sCTA, higher sensitivity was achieved by neuroradiologists than emergency radiologists (96.0% vs. 86.9%, p = .002); using mCTA resulted in an absolute increase in sensitivity of 0.9% (97.4%, p = .44) for neuroradiologists and 9.6% (96.5%, p < .001) for emergency radiologists, eliminating significant differences between the groups (p = 0.57).

Conclusion

The use of mCTA results in increased sensitivity and negative predictive value, decreased reading time, increased diagnostic confidence, and the elimination of differences in accuracy between neuroradiologists and emergency radiologists.

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Correspondence to Gerald M. Hefferman.

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Hefferman, G.M., Baird, G.L., Swenson, D.W. et al. Effects of multiphase versus single-phase CT angiography for the detection of distal cerebral vessel occlusion. Emerg Radiol 28, 891–898 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10140-021-01933-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10140-021-01933-2

Keywords

  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack
  • Cerebrovascular occlusion
  • Computed tomography angiography
  • Multiphase CTA
  • Neuroimaging