Volumetric assessment of extracranial carotid artery aneurysms

de Vries, E E, van Laarhoven, C J H C M, Kuijf, H J, Hazenberg, C E V B, van Herwaarden, J A, Viergever, M A, de Borst, G J


Scientific Reports 9 (1),


The extracranial carotid artery aneurysm (ECAA) is a rare pathology for which clinical treatment guidelines are lacking. In general, symptoms or growth of the aneurysm sac are thought to indicate intervention. ECAAs may present in a large variety of shapes and sizes, and conventional diameter measurements fail to indicate geometrical differences. Therefore, we propose a protocol to measure ECAA size by 3D volumetric assessment. The volumes of 40 ECAAs in computed tomography angiography (CTA) images were measured through manual segmentation, by two independent operators. Volumes of the entire internal carotid artery (ICA) and the ECAA were measured separately. Excellent inter- and intraoperator reliability was found for both ICA and ECAA volumes, with all intraclass correlation coefficients above 0.94. Bland-Altman analysis revealed normal differences for both inter- and intraoperator agreement. For all volumes, similarity of the segmentations was excellent. Outliers were explained by presence of intraluminal ECAA thrombus, which hampered identification of the aneurysm outer wall. These results implicate robustness of our protocol, which is designed as a step-up towards (semi)automatic volumetric measurements to monitor patients with ECAA. Future (semi)automatic volumetric assessments are recommended and such techniques can be developed and validated using the proposed protocol and manual reference segmentations.