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Original research
Artificial intelligence-driven ASPECTS for the detection of early stroke changes in non-contrast CT: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Background Recent advances in machine learning have enabled development of the automated Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) prediction algorithms using non-contrast enhanced computed tomography (NCCT) scans. The applicability of automated ASPECTS in daily clinical practice is yet to be established. The objective of this meta-analysis was to directly compare the performance of automated and manual ASPECTS predictions in recognizing early stroke changes on NCCT.

Methods The MEDLINE, Scopus, and Cochrane databases were searched. The last database search was performed on March 10, 2022. Studies reporting the diagnostic performance and validity of automated ASPECTS software compared with expert readers were included. The outcomes were the interobserver reliability of outputs between ASPECTS versus expert readings, experts versus reference standard, and ASPECTS versus reference standard by means of pooled Fisher’s Z transformation of the interclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

Results Eleven studies were included in the meta-analysis, involving 1976 patients. The meta-analyses showed good interobserver reliability between experts (ICC 0.72 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.79); p<0.001), moderate reliability in the correlation between automated and expert readings (ICC 0.54 (95% CI 0.40 to 0.67); p<0.001), good reliability between the total expert readings and the reference standard (ICC 0.62 (95% CI 0.52 to 0.71); p<0.001), and good reliability between the automated predictions and the reference standard (ICC 0.72 (95% CI 0.61 to 0.80); p<0.001).

Conclusions Artificial intelligence-driven ASPECTS software has comparable or better performance than physicians in terms of recognizing early stroke changes on NCCT.

  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy
  • CT
  • Technology
  • Technique

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Not applicable.

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