Detection of cerebral aneurysms using artificial intelligence: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Neurointerv Surg. 2023 Mar;15(3):262-271. doi: 10.1136/jnis-2022-019456. Epub 2022 Nov 14.


Background: Subarachnoid hemorrhage from cerebral aneurysm rupture is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Early aneurysm identification, aided by automated systems, may improve patient outcomes. Therefore, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the diagnostic accuracy of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in detecting cerebral aneurysms using CT, MRI or DSA was performed.

Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science were searched until August 2021. Eligibility criteria included studies using fully automated algorithms to detect cerebral aneurysms using MRI, CT or DSA. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis: Diagnostic Test Accuracy (PRISMA-DTA), articles were assessed using Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2). Meta-analysis included a bivariate random-effect model to determine pooled sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (ROC-AUC).

Prospero: CRD42021278454.

Results: 43 studies were included, and 41/43 (95%) were retrospective. 34/43 (79%) used AI as a standalone tool, while 9/43 (21%) used AI assisting a reader. 23/43 (53%) used deep learning. Most studies had high bias risk and applicability concerns, limiting conclusions. Six studies in the standalone AI meta-analysis gave (pooled) 91.2% (95% CI 82.2% to 95.8%) sensitivity; 16.5% (95% CI 9.4% to 27.1%) false-positive rate (1-specificity); 0.936 ROC-AUC. Five reader-assistive AI studies gave (pooled) 90.3% (95% CI 88.0% - 92.2%) sensitivity; 7.9% (95% CI 3.5% to 16.8%) false-positive rate; 0.910 ROC-AUC.

Conclusion: AI has the potential to support clinicians in detecting cerebral aneurysms. Interpretation is limited due to high risk of bias and poor generalizability. Multicenter, prospective studies are required to assess AI in clinical practice.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Angiography; Brain; CT Angiography; Magnetic Resonance Angiography; artificial intelligence; deep learning; machine learning.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / diagnostic imaging
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity