Absence of Cortical Vein Opacification Is Associated with Lack of Intra-arterial Therapy Benefit in Stroke

Radiology. 2018 Feb;286(2):643-650. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017162445. Epub 2017 Aug 11.


Purpose To assess the degree of cortical vein opacification in patients with internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke and to evaluate the relationship with treatment benefit from intra-arterial therapy (IAT). Materials and Methods Written informed consent was obtained from all patients in the Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands. From the trial's database, all patients (recruited from December 2010 until March 2014) with baseline computed tomographic (CT) angiograms were retrospectively included. Enhancement of the vein of Labbé, sphenoparietal sinus, and superficial middle cerebral vein was graded by one neuroradiologist, as follows: 0, not visible; 1, moderate opacification; and 2, full opacification. The sum for the ipsilateral hemisphere was calculated, resulting in the cortical vein opacification score (COVES) (range, 0-6). Primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale score at 90 days. Association with treatment according to full cortical vein score and different dichotomized cutoff points was estimated with ordinal logistic regression. Interobserver agreement was assessed by two separate observers who reviewed 100 studies each. Results In total, 397 patients were analyzed. Interaction of the cortical vein score with treatment was significant (P = .044) when dichotomized COVES was 0 versus more than 0. The adjusted odds ratio for shift toward better functional outcome was 1.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.5, 2.0) for a COVES of 0 (n = 123) and 2.2 (95% CI: 1.6, 4.1) for a COVES greater than 0 (n = 274). The multirater κ value was 0.73. Conclusion In this study, patients with acute middle cerebral artery stroke with absence of cortical vein opacification in the affected hemisphere (COVES = 0) appeared to have no benefit from IAT, whereas patients with venous opacification (COVES >0) were shown to benefit from IAT. © RSNA, 2017 Clinical trial registration nos. NTR(1804) and ISRCTN10888758 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Disease Progression
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / surgery*