Evolution of computed tomography angiography spot sign is consistent with a site of active hemorrhage in acute intracerebral hemorrhage

Dar Dowlatshahi, Jason K Wasserman, Franco Momoli, William Petrcich, Grant Stotts, Matthew Hogan, Mukul Sharma, Richard I Aviv, Andrew M Demchuk, Santanu Chakraborty
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 2014, 45 (1): 277-80

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: CT angiography spot sign predicts hematoma expansion in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). The spot sign may represent a site of active extravasation, a locus of arrested hemorrhage forming fibrin globes, or represent associated epiphenomena such as hypertensive microaneurysms. We sought to describe the evolution of spot signs over 60 seconds in acute ICH using dynamic CT angiography and determine whether they grow and diffuse into the hematoma as would be expected with active extravasation.

METHODS: We prospectively identified consecutive patients presenting with spontaneous ICH<6 hours from symptom onset that completed dynamic CT angiography imaging over a 60-second acquisition protocol. We determined spot positivity, quantified spot volumes, and then used repeated-measures ANOVA to assess changes in spot volume over time.

RESULTS: We collected data on 35 patients; 13 of 35 (37%) patients were spot-positive. Spot-positive patients had larger median ICH volume compared with spot-negative patients (median 10.7 versus 49.2 mL; P=0.007). Maximal spot sign volumes ranged from 0.02 to 2.8 mL (median 0.17 mL). Spot sign volumes increased significantly with time (P<0.001) and seemed to disperse into the hematoma in all cases. Three of 13 (23%) spot-positive patients presented with 2 distinct spot signs, but the remaining patients either had only 1 spot sign or different contiguous components of an irregularly shaped spot sign.

CONCLUSIONS: In this dynamic CT angiography study of ICH, spot signs evolve consistent with sites of active extravasation.

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