Automated entire thrombus density measurements for robust and comprehensive thrombus characterization in patients with acute ischemic stroke

MR CLEAN Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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 usingmedians, interquartile ranges (IQR), kurtosis, and skewedness. Differences between themedian of entire thrombusmeasurements and commonly applied manualmeasurements 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 languageEnglish
Article numbere0145641
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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