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Reliability of the Diagnosis of Cerebral Vasospasm Using Catheter Cerebral Angiography: A Systematic Review and Inter‑ and Intraobserver Study

Posted by Krista Whitehouse on February 1, 2021 in Neuroradiology
Cerebral vasospasm
Cerebral vasospasm

Dr. David Volders has published a paper in the American Journal of Neuroradiology. See full text.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Conventional angiography is the benchmark examination to diagnose cerebral vasospasm, but there is limited evidence regarding its reliability. Our goals were the following: 1) to systematically review the literature on the reliability of the diagnosis of cerebral vasospasm using conventional angiography, and 2) to perform an agreement study among clinicians who perform endovascular treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Articles reporting a classification system on the degree of cerebral vasospasm on conventional angiography were systematically searched, and agreement studies were identified. We assembled a portfolio of 221 cases of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and asked 17 raters with different backgrounds (radiology, neurosurgery, or neurology) and experience (junior ≤10 and senior >10 years) to independently evaluate cerebral vasospasm in 7 vessel segments using a 3-point scale and to evaluate, for each case, whether findings would justify endovascular treatment. Nine raters took part in the intraobserver reliability study.

RESULTS: The systematic review showed a very heterogeneous literature, with 140 studies using 60 different nomenclatures and 21 different thresholds to define cerebral vasospasm, and 5 interobserver studies reporting a wide range of reliability (κ = 0.14–0.87). In our study, only senior raters reached substantial agreement (κ ≥ 0.6) on vasospasm of the supraclinoid ICA, M1, and basilar segments and only when assessments were dichotomized (presence or absence of ≥50% narrowing). Agreement on whether to proceed with endovascular management of vasospasm was only fair (κ ≤ 0.4).

CONCLUSIONS: Research on cerebral vasospasm would benefit from standardization of definitions and thresholds. Dichotomized decisions by experienced readers are required for the reliable angiographic diagnosis of cerebral vasospasm.



    Disclosures: Anne-Christine Januel—UNRELATEDConsultancy: Congress reporting for Balt. Jean-Christophe Gentric—UNRELATEDConsultancy: Balt, Medtronic, MicroVention, Stryker; Stock/Stock Options: INTRADYS.



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