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Afat, Saif; Brockmann, Carolin; Nikoubashman, Omid; Müller, Marguerite; Thierfelder, Kolja M.; Brockmann, Marc A.; Nikolaou, Konstantin; Wiesmann, Martin; Kim, Jong Hyo; Othman, Ahmed E. (2018): Diagnostic Accuracy of Simulated Low-Dose Perfusion CT to Detect Cerebral Perfusion Impairment after Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Retrospective Analysis. In: Radiology, Vol. 287, No. 2: pp. 643-650
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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate diagnostic accuracy of low-dose volume perfusion (VP) computed tomography (CT) compared with original VP CT regarding the detection of cerebral perfusion impairment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, 85 patients (mean age, 59.6 years;62 women) with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and who were suspected of having cerebral vasospasm at unenhanced CT and VP CT (tube voltage, 80 kVp;tube current-time product, 180 mAs) were included, 37 of whom underwent digital subtraction angiography (DSA) within 6 hours. Low-dose VP CT data sets at tube current-time product of 72 mAs were retrospectively generated by validated realistic simulation. Perfusion maps were generated from both data sets and reviewed by two neuroradiologists for overall image quality, diagnostic confidence and presence and/or severity of perfusion impairment indicating vasospasm. An interventional neuroradiologist evaluated 16 vascular segments at DSA. Diagnostic accuracy of low-dose VP CT was calculated with original VP CT as reference standard. Agreement between findings of both data sets was assessed by using weighted Cohen kappa and findings were correlated with DSA by using Spearman correlation. After quantitative volumetric analysis, lesion volumes were compared on both VP CT data sets. Results: Low-dose VP CT yielded good ratings of image quality and diagnostic confidence and classified all patients correctly with high diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity, 99.0%;specificity, 99.5%) without significant differences regarding presence and/or severity of perfusion impairment between original and low-dose data sets (Z = -0.447;P = .655). Findings of both data sets correlated significantly with DSA (original, r = 0.671;low dose, r = 0.667). Lesion volume was comparable for both data sets (relative difference, 5.9% +/- 5.1 [range, 0.2%-25.0%;median, 4.0%]) with strong correlation (r = 0.955). Conclusion: The results suggest that radiation dose reduction to 40% of original dose levels (tube current-time product, 72 mAs) may be performed in VP CT imaging of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage without compromising the diagnostic accuracy regarding detection of cerebral perfusion impairment indicating vasospasm.