JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Clinical utility of multislice computed tomographic angiography for detection of cerebral vasospasm in acute subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) has been used as the standard method for detecting cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Multislice computed tomographic angiography (CTA) is a relatively recent method used for evaluating the vasculature of the intracranial arteries. The purpose of this study was to compare multislice CTA and DSA for the detection and quantification of cerebral vasospasm after SAH, and to analyze the usefulness of multislice CTA. Eight patients with SAH underwent initial CTA with DSA within 72 hours after the onset of symptoms and follow-up multislice CTA and DSA 8 to 48 days after SAH. Five arterial locations were established in the A1 and A2 segments of the anterior cerebral artery, the M1 and M2 segments of the middle cerebral artery and the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) on both multislice CTA and DSA images. Vasospasm was classified as none, mild (up to 30% reduction in luminal diameter), moderate (31-60% reduction), and marked (at least 60% reduction) using the scale of Schneck and Kricheff. The multislice CT system used the following parameters: 1.25 mm collimation and 3.75 pitch with a 4-channel system. The degree of vasospasm revealed by the multislice CTA was significantly correlated with the degree of vasospasm revealed by DSA. In general, most discrepancies between CTA and DSA were in the detection of mild and moderate vasospasm. We found that the consistency between multislice CTA and DSA was greater for mild (100%, n=3) or moderate (100%, n=3) vasospasm than none (n=1) or marked vasospasm (n=1). However, it was unclear whether multislice CTA was more specific for a proximal location (A1, M1, PCA) or distal location (A2, M2) for evaluation of cerebral arteries. Multislice CTA can detect angiographic vasospasm after SAH with an accuracy similar to that of DSA. Multislice CTA is highly sensitive, specific and accurate in detecting mild and moderate cerebral vasospasm. It is less accurate for detecting no vasospasm and marked vasospasm. Therefore, the authors propose that multislice CTA be considered as a useful tool for the detection and management of intracranial vasospasm after SAH.

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