Computed tomography angiography (CTA) collateral scoring can identify patients most likely to benefit from mechanical thrombectomy and those more likely to have good outcomes and ranges from 0 (no collaterals) to 3 (complete collaterals). In this study, we used a machine learning approach to categorise the degree of collateral flow in 98 patients who were eligible for mechanical thrombectomy and generate an e-CTA collateral score (CTA-CS) for each patient (e-STROKE SUITE, Brainomix Ltd., Oxford, UK). Three experienced neuroradiologists (NRs) independently estimated the CTA-CS, first without and then with knowledge of the e-CTA output, before finally agreeing on a consensus score. Addition of the e-CTA improved the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between NRs from 0.58 (0.46-0.67) to 0.77 (0.66-0.85, p = 0.003). Automated e-CTA, without NR input, agreed with the consensus score in 90% of scans with the remaining 10% within 1 point of the consensus (ICC 0.93, 0.90-0.95). Sensitivity and specificity for identifying favourable collateral flow (collateral score 2-3) were 0.99 (0.93-1.00) and 0.94 (0.70-1.00), respectively. e-CTA correlated with the Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT Score (Spearman correlation 0.46, p < 0.001) highlighting the value of good collateral flow in maintaining tissue viability prior to reperfusion. In conclusion, -e-CTA provides a real-time and fully automated approach to collateral scoring with the potential to improve consistency of image interpretation and to independently quantify collateral scores even without expert rater input.
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Acute stroke, Alberta stroke programme early CT score, Collateral circulation, Computed tomography angiography, Thrombectomy, e-Alberta stroke programme early CT score, e-Computed tomography angiography