CT Angiography in the Rapid Triage of Patients with Hyperacute Stroke to Intraarterial Thrombolysis: Accuracy in the Detection of Large Vessel Thrombus

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The purpose of this work was to evaluate the accuracy of CT angiography (CTA) for the detection of large vessel intracranial thrombus in clinically suspected hyperacute (<6 h) stroke patients.


Forty-four consecutive intraarterial thrombolysis candidates underwent noncontrast CT followed immediately by CTA. Axial source and two-dimensional collapsed maximum intensity projection reformatted CTA images were rated for the presence or absence of large vessel occlusion. Five hundred seventy-two circle-of-Willis vessels were reviewed; arteriographic correlation was available for 224 of these.


Sensitivity and specificity for the detection of large vessel occlusion were 98.4 and 98.1%; accuracy, calculated using receiver operating characteristic analysis, was 99%. Mean time for acquisition, reconstruction, and analysis of CTA images was approximately 15 min.


CTA is highly accurate for the detection and exclusion of large vessel intracranial occlusion and may therefore be valuable in the rapid triage of hyperacute stroke patients to intraarterial thrombolytic treatment.

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