Multislice computerized tomography angiography in the evaluation of intracranial aneurysms: a comparison with intraarterial digital subtraction angiography

J Neurosurg. 2003 Apr;98(4):828-36. doi: 10.3171/jns.2003.98.4.0828.


Object: The goal of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of computerized tomography (CT) angiography performed with the aid of multislice technology (MSCT angiography) in the investigation of intracranial aneurysms, by comparing this method with intraarterial digital subtraction (IADS) angiography.

Methods: Fifty consecutive adult patients, who successively underwent MSCT angiography (four rows) and IADS angiography of intracranial vessels, were prospectively identified. The MSCT angiography studies consisted of 1.25-mm slices, with 0.8-mm reconstruction intervals, a pitch of 0.75, and timing determined by a test bolus. Two neuroradiologists, who were blinded to the initial interpretation of the MSCT angiograms as well as to those of the IADS angiograms, independently reviewed the MSCT angiograms for the detection and characterization of intracranial aneurysms. Forty-nine intracranial aneurysms were identified in 40 patients; 33 of these lesions were responsible for subarachnoid hemorrhage. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of MSCT angiography in the detection of intracranial aneurysms were 94.8, 95.2, and 94.9%, respectively, on a per-aneurysm basis and 99, 95.2, and 98.3%, respectively, on a per-patient basis. Interobserver agreement was 98%. There was an excellent correlation between aneurysm size assessed using MSCT angiography and that determined by IADS angiography (slope = 0.916, r = 0.877, p < 0.001); however, 2 mm stood as the cutoff size below which the sensitivity of MSCT angiography was statistically lower. That method displayed great accuracy in characterizing the morphological characteristics of the aneurysm.

Conclusions: Multislice CT angiography is an accurate and robust noninvasive screening test for intracranial aneurysms. It performs better than that reported for single-slice CT angiography. Introduction of eight- and especially 16-row MSCT angiography will provide further progression through thinner slices, a lower pitch, and a purely arterial phase.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction* / methods
  • Cerebral Angiography* / methods
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*