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In Neurosurgical focus ; h5-index 45.0

OBJECTIVE : In patients with large-vessel occlusion (LVO) acute ischemic stroke (AIS), determinations of infarct size play a key role in the identification of candidates for endovascular stroke therapy (EVT). An accurate, automated method to quantify infarct at the time of presentation using widely available imaging modalities would improve screening for EVT. Here, the authors aimed to compare the performance of three measures of infarct core at presentation, including an automated method using machine learning.

METHODS : Patients with LVO AIS who underwent successful EVT at four comprehensive stroke centers were identified. Patients were included if they underwent concurrent noncontrast head CT (NCHCT), CT angiography (CTA), and CT perfusion (CTP) with Rapid imaging at the time of presentation, and MRI 24 to 48 hours after reperfusion. NCHCT scans were analyzed using the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) graded by neuroradiology or neurology expert readers. CTA source images were analyzed using a previously described machine learning model named DeepSymNet (DSN). Final infarct volume (FIV) was determined from diffusion-weighted MRI sequences using manual segmentation. The primary outcome was the performance of the three infarct core measurements (NCHCT-ASPECTS, CTA with DSN, and CTP-Rapid) to predict FIV, which was measured using area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) analysis.

RESULTS : Among 76 patients with LVO AIS who underwent EVT and met inclusion criteria, the median age was 67 years (IQR 54-76 years), 45% were female, and 37% were White. The median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 16 (IQR 12-22), and the median NCHCT-ASPECTS on presentation was 8 (IQR 7-8). The median time between when the patient was last known to be well and arrival was 156 minutes (IQR 73-303 minutes), and between NCHCT/CTA/CTP to groin puncture was 73 minutes (IQR 54-81 minutes). The AUC was obtained at three different cutoff points: 10 ml, 30 ml, and 50 ml FIV. At the 50-ml FIV cutoff, the AUC of ASPECTS was 0.74; of CTP core volume, 0.72; and of DSN, 0.82. Differences in AUCs for the three predictors were not significant for the three FIV cutoffs.

CONCLUSIONS : In a cohort of patients with LVO AIS in whom reperfusion was achieved, determinations of infarct core at presentation by NCHCT-ASPECTS and a machine learning model analyzing CTA source images were equivalent to CTP in predicting FIV. These findings have suggested that the information to accurately predict infarct core in patients with LVO AIS was present in conventional imaging modalities (NCHCT and CTA) and accessible by machine learning methods.

Abdelkhaleq Rania, Kim Youngran, Khose Swapnil, Kan Peter, Salazar-Marioni Sergio, Giancardo Luca, Sheth Sunil A


CT perfusion, cerebrovascular disease/stroke, computed tomography, ischemic stroke, machine learning