Venous Phase of Computed Tomography Angiography Increases Spot Sign Detection, but Intracerebral Hemorrhage Expansion Is Greater in Spot Signs Detected in Arterial Phase
Background and Purpose—Variability in computed tomography angiography (CTA) acquisitions may be one explanation for the modest accuracy of the spot sign for predicting intracerebral hemorrhage expansion detected in the multicenter Predicting Hematoma Growth and Outcome in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Using Contrast Bolus CT (PREDICT) study. This study aimed to determine the frequency of the spot sign in intracerebral hemorrhage and its relationship with hematoma expansion depending on the phase of image acquisition.
Methods—PREDICT study was a prospective observational cohort study of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage presenting within 6 hours from onset. A post hoc analysis of the Hounsfield units of an artery and venous structure were measured on CTA source images of the entire PREDICT cohort in a core laboratory. Each CTA study was classified into arterial or venous phase and into 1 of 5 specific image acquisition phases. Significant hematoma expansion and total hematoma enlargement were recorded at 24 hours.
Results—Overall (n=371), 77.9% of CTA were acquired in arterial phase. The spot sign, present in 29.9% of patients, was more frequently seen in venous phase as compared with arterial phase (39% versus 27.3%; P=0.041) and the later the phase of image acquisition (P=0.095). Significant hematoma expansion (P=0.253) and higher total hematoma enlargement (P=0.019) were observed more frequently among spot sign–positive patients with earlier phases of image acquisition.
Conclusions—Later image acquisition of CTA improves the frequency of spot sign detection. However, spot signs identified in earlier phases may be associated with greater absolute enlargement. A multiphase CTA including arterial and venous acquisitions could be optimal in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.
- Received July 26, 2013.
- Revision received December 4, 2013.
- Accepted December 19, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.