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Nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage management: evaluation with reduced iodine volume at CT angiography.

Radiology 2012 July
PURPOSE: To evaluate the technical quality and the diagnostic performance of a protocol with use of low volumes of contrast medium (25 mL) at 64-detector spiral computed tomography (CT) in the diagnosis and management of adult, nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was performed outside the United States and was approved by the institutional review board. Intracranial CT angiography was performed in 73 consecutive patients with nontraumatic SAH diagnosed at nonenhanced CT. Image quality was evaluated by two observers using two criteria: degree of arterial enhancement and venous contamination. The two independent readers evaluated diagnostic performance (lesion detection and correct therapeutic decision-making process) by using rotational angiographic findings as the standard of reference. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated for patients who underwent CT angiography and three-dimensional rotational angiography. The intraclass correlation coefficient was calculated to assess interobserver concordance concerning aneurysm measurements and therapeutic management.

RESULTS: All aneurysms were detected, either ruptured or unruptured. Arterial opacification was excellent in 62 cases (85%), and venous contamination was absent or minor in 61 cases (84%). In 95% of cases, CT angiographic findings allowed optimal therapeutic management. The intraclass correlation coefficient ranged between 0.93 and 0.95, indicating excellent interobserver agreement.

CONCLUSION: With only 25 mL of iodinated contrast medium focused on the arterial phase, 64-detector CT angiography allowed satisfactory diagnostic and therapeutic management of nontraumatic SAH.

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