Background and purpose: As "time is brain" in acute stroke triage, the need for automated prognostication tools continues to increase, particularly in rapidly expanding tele-stroke settings. We aimed to create an automated prognostication tool for anterior circulation large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke based on admission CTA radiomics.
Methods: We automatically extracted 1116 radiomics features from the anterior circulation territory on admission CTAs of 829 acute LVO stroke patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy in two academic centers. We trained, optimized, validated, and compared different machine-learning models to predict favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale ≤ 2) at discharge and 3-month follow-up using four different input sets: "Radiomics", "Radiomics + Treatment" (radiomics, post-thrombectomy reperfusion grade, and intravenous thrombolysis), "Clinical + Treatment" (baseline clinical variables and treatment), and "Combined" (radiomics, treatment, and baseline clinical variables).
Results: For discharge outcome prediction, models were optimized/trained on n = 494 and tested on an independent cohort of n = 100 patients from Yale. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of the independent cohort showed no significant difference between best-performing Combined input models (area under the curve, AUC = 0.77) versus Radiomics + Treatment (AUC = 0.78, p = 0.78), Radiomics (AUC = 0.78, p = 0.55), or Clinical + Treatment (AUC = 0.77, p = 0.87) models. For 3-month outcome prediction, models were optimized/trained on n = 373 and tested on an independent cohort from Yale (n = 72), and an external cohort from Geisinger Medical Center (n = 232). In the independent cohort, there was no significant difference between Combined input models (AUC = 0.76) versus Radiomics + Treatment (AUC = 0.72, p = 0.39), Radiomics (AUC = 0.72, p = 0.39), or Clinical + Treatment (AUC = 76, p = 0.90) models; however, in the external cohort, the Combined model (AUC = 0.74) outperformed Radiomics + Treatment (AUC = 0.66, p < 0.001) and Radiomics (AUC = 0.68, p = 0.005) models for 3-month prediction.
Conclusion: Machine-learning signatures of admission CTA radiomics can provide prognostic information in acute LVO stroke candidates for mechanical thrombectomy. Such objective and time-sensitive risk stratification can guide treatment decisions and facilitate tele-stroke assessment of patients. Particularly in the absence of reliable clinical information at the time of admission, models solely using radiomics features can provide a useful prognostication tool.
Keywords: CTA; Large vessel occlusion; Mechanical thrombectomy; Quantitative imaging; Radiomics; Stroke.
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.