Collateral Scoring on CT Angiogram Must Evaluate Phase and Regional Pattern

Can J Neurol Sci. 2017 Sep;44(5):503-507. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2017.53.


Purpose: We measured anterior cerebral artery (ACA)-middle cerebral artery (MCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA)-MCA pial filling on single-phase computed tomography angiograms (sCTAs) in acute ischemic stroke and correlate with the CTA-based Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA)-based American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (ASITN) score.

Methods: Patients with acute stroke and M1 MCA┬▒intracranial internal carotid artery occlusion on baseline CTA were included. Baseline sCTA was assessed for phase of image acquisition. An evaluator assessed collaterals using the Calgary Collateral (CC) Score (measures pial arterial filling in ACA-MCA and PCA-MCA regions separately), the CTA-based MGH score, and on DSA using the ASITN score. Infarct volumes were measured on 24- to 48-hour magnetic resonance imaging/ computed tomography.

Results: Of 106 patients, baseline sCTA was acquired in early arterial phase in 9.9%, peak arterial in 50.7%, equilibrium in 32.4%, early venous in 5.6%, and late venous in 1.4%. Variance in ACA-MCA collaterals explained only 32% of variance in PCA-MCA collaterals on the CC score (Spearman's correlation coefficient rho [rho]=0.56). Correlation between ACA-MCA collaterals and the MGH score was strong (rho=0.8); correlation between PCA-MCA collaterals and this score was modest (rho=0.54). Correlation between ACA-MCA collaterals and the ASITN score was modest (n=53, rho=0.43); and correlation between PCA-MCA collaterals and ASITN score was poor (rho=0.33). Of the CTA-based scores, the CC Score (Akaike [AIC] 1022) was better at predicting follow-up infarct volumes than was the MGH score (AIC 1029).

Conclusion: Collateral assessments in acute ischemic stroke are best done using CTA with temporal resolution and by assessing regional variability. ACA-MCA and MCA-PCA collaterals should be evaluated separately.

Keywords: Collaterals; Stroke Imaging; Vascular Imaging; Vascular Neurology.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Computed Tomography Angiography* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stroke / therapy