Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of 16-row multislice CT angiography (CTA) in evaluating intracranial aneurysms, by comparison with conventional digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and intraoperative findings.
Methods: A consecutive series of 57 patients, scheduled for DSA for suspected intracranial aneurysm, was prospectively recruited to have CTA. This was performed with a 16-detector row machine, detector interval 0.75 mm, 0.5 rotation/s, table speed 10mm/rotation and reconstruction interval 0.40 mm. CTA studies were independently and randomly assessed by two neuroradiologists and a vascular neurosurgeon blinded to the DSA and surgical findings. Review of CTA was performed on workstations with an interactive 3D volume-rendered algorithm.
Results: DSA or intraoperative findings or both confirmed 53 aneurysms in 44 patients. For both independent readers, sensitivity and specificity per aneurysm of DSA were 96.2% and 100%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of CTA were also 96.2% and 100%, respectively. Mean diameter of aneurysms was 6.3mm (range 1.9 to 28.1 mm, SD 5.2 mm). For aneurysms of less than 3 mm, CTA had a sensitivity of 91.7% for each reader. Although the neurosurgeon would have been happy to proceed to surgery on the basis of CTA alone in all cases, he judged that DSA might have provided helpful additional anatomical information in 5 patients.
Conclusion: The diagnostic accuracy of 16-slice CTA is promising and appears equivalent to that of DSA for detection and evaluation of intracranial aneurysms. A strategy of using CTA as the primary imaging method, with DSA reserved for cases of uncertainty, appears to be practical and safe.