Automated Entire Thrombus Density Measurements for Robust and Comprehensive Thrombus Characterization in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke

Emilie Santos, Wiro Niessen, AJ Yoo, Olvert Berkhemer, LF Beenen, CB Majoie, HA Marquering

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Background and Purpose In acute ischemic stroke (AIS) management, CT-based thrombus density has been associated with treatment success. However, currently used thrombus measurements are prone to inter-observer variability and oversimplify the heterogeneous thrombus composition. Our aim was first to introduce an automated method to assess the entire thrombus density and then to compare the measured entire thrombus density with respect to current standard manual measurements. Materials and Method In 135 AIS patients, the density distribution of the entire thrombus was determined. Density distributions were described using medians, interquartile ranges (IQR), kurtosis, and skewedness. Differences between the median of entire thrombus measurements and commonly applied manual measurements using 3 regions of interest were determined using linear regression. Results Density distributions varied considerably with medians ranging from 20.0 to 62.8 HU and IQRs ranging from 9.3 to 55.8 HU. The average median of the thrombus density distributions (43.5 +/- 10.2 HU) was lower than the manual assessment (49.6 +/- 8.0 HU) (p<0.05). The difference between manual measurements and median density of entire thrombus decreased with increasing density (r = 0.64; p<0.05), revealing relatively higher manual measurements for low density thrombi such that manual density measurement tend overestimates the real thrombus density. Conclusions Automatic measurements of the full thrombus expose a wide variety of thrombi density distribution, which is not grasped with currently used manual measurement. Furthermore, discrimination of low and high density thrombi is improved with the automated method.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPLoS One (print)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-01
  • EMC NIHES-03-30-01
  • EMC NIHES-03-30-03

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