Effect of prolonged acquisition intervals for CT-perfusion analysis methods in patients with ischemic stroke

van Ommen, F, Kauw, F, Bennink, E, Dankbaar, JW, Viergever, MA, de Jong, HWAM


Medical Physics 46 (7), p. 3156-3164


Introduction: The limited axial coverage of many computed tomography (CT) scanners poses a high risk on false negative findings in cerebral CT-perfusion (CTP) imaging. Axial coverage may be increased by moving the table back and forth during image acquisition. However, this method often increases the acquisition interval between CT frames, which may influence the CTP analysis. In this study, we evaluated the influence of different acquisition intervals on quantitative perfusion maps and infarct volumes by analyzing patient data with three CTP analysis methods. Methods: CT-perfusion data from 25 patients with ischemic stroke were used for this study. The acquisition interval was synthetically reduced from 1 to 5 s before calculating perfusion values, which included cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral blood volume (CBV), and mean transit time (MTT). The color scaling of the perfusion was scaled such that the mean perfusion value had the same color-coding as the mean perfusion in the 1 s reference. Also, infarct core and penumbra volumes (summary map) were calculated using default thresholds of CBV and relative MTT (rMTT). The original, 1 s acquisition interval scan served as the reference standard. A commercial block-circulant singular value decomposition (bSVD) based method (ISP; Philips Healthcare), a non-commercial bSVD method, and a non-linear regression (NLR) model-based method were evaluated. Results: Cerebral blood volume values generated with bSVD and NLR were not significantly different from the reference standard, while ISP showed significant differences for acquisition intervals of 3 and 4 s. MTT and CBF values generated with bSVD and ISP were significantly different for all acquisition intervals, whereas NLR did not show any significant differences. Calibrated perfusion maps were able to distinguish healthy from infarcted tissue up to an acquisition interval of 5 s for all methods. The infarct core volumes were significantly different for acquisition intervals of 2 (NLR) and 3 s (bSVD and ISP) or greater. For the penumbra volumes, NLR showed no significant differences, while bSVD and ISP showed significant differences for the 5 s interval and for all intervals, respectively. Visual inspection of the summary maps indicated minor differences between the reference standard and acquisition intervals of 4 s or less (ISP) and 5 s or less (bSVD and NLR). Conclusion: Altering the acquisition interval may introduce a bias in the perfusion parameters. Calibration of the visualization of the perfusion maps with increasing acquisition intervals allowed distinction between healthy and infarcted tissue. Infarct volumes based on relative MTT can be influenced by the acquisition interval, but visual inspection of the summary maps indicated minor differences between the reference standard and acquisition intervals up to 4 (ISP) and 5 s (bSVD and NLR). Taken together, axial coverage can be increased by prolonging the acquisition interval up to 5 s depending on the perfusion analysis.