Background and purpose The Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) is a widely used measure of ischemic change on non-contrast CT. Although predictive of long-term outcome, ASPECTS is limited by its modest interobserver agreement. One potential solution to this is the use of machine learning strategies, such as e-ASPECTS, to detect ischemia. Here, we compared e-ASPECTS with manual scoring by experienced neuroradiologists for all 10 individual ASPECTS regions.
Materials and methods We retrospectively reviewed 178 baseline non-contrast CT scans from patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing endovascular thrombectomy. All scans were reviewed by two independent neuroradiologists with a third reader arbitrating disagreements for a consensus read. Each ASPECTS region was scored individually. All scans were then evaluated using a machine learning-based software package (e-ASPECTS, Brainomix). Interobserver agreement between readers and the software for each region was calculated with a kappa statistic.
Results The median ASPECTS was 9 for manual scoring and 8.5 for e-ASPECTS, with an overall agreement of κ=0.248. Regional agreement varied from κ=0.094 (M1) to κ=0.555 (lentiform), with better performance in subcortical regions. When corrected for the low number of infarcts in any given region, prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted kappa ranged from 0.483 (insula) to 0.888 (M3), with greater agreement for cortical areas. Intraclass correlation coefficients were between 0.09 (M1) and 0.556 (lentiform).
Conclusion Manual scoring and e-ASPECTS had fair agreement in our dataset on a per-region basis. This warrants further investigation using follow-up scans or MRI as the gold standard measure of true ASPECTS.
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