Assessing Reperfusion With Whole-Brain Arterial Spin Labeling
A Noninvasive Alternative to Gadolinium
Background and Purpose—Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is a perfusion imaging technique that does not require gadolinium. The study aimed to assess the reliability of ASL for evaluating reperfusion in acute ischemic stroke in comparison with dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) imaging.
Methods—The study included 24 patients with acute ischemic stroke on admission and 24-hour follow-up ASL and DSC scans. Two readers rated images for interpretability and evidence of reperfusion. Cohen unweighted κ was used to assess (1) inter-rater reliability between readers for determining interpretability and the presence of reperfusion, (2) agreement between ASL and DSC for determining reperfusion for individual raters, and (3) agreement between ASL and DSC for determining reperfusion after consensus.
Results—Inter-rater reliability for both ASL and DSC was moderate to good (κ of 0.67 versus 0.55, respectively). Reader 1 rated 16 patients as having interpretable ASL and DSC when compared with 15 patients for reader 2. The κ between ASL and DSC for determining reperfusion was 0.50 for reader 1 and 0.595 for reader 2. After consensus, 18 ASL and 17 DSC image sets were rated interpretable for reperfusion and 13 had both interpretable ASL and DSC scans, yielding a κ for assessment of reperfusion of 0.8.
Conclusions—Inter-rater reliability of ASL and DSC was moderate to good. Agreement between ASL and DSC for determining reperfusion was moderate for each individual rater and increased substantially after consensus. ASL is a noninvasive and practical alternative to DSC for reperfusion assessments in patients with confirmed acute ischemic stroke.
- Received November 12, 2013.
- Revision received November 12, 2013.
- Accepted November 19, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.