Asymmetry of medullary veins on multiphase CT-angiography in patients with acute ischemic stroke

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases








Angiography; Brain ischemia; Cerebral veins; Collateral circulation; Medullary vein S; Stroke


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Background: It was previously demonstrated that decreased cortical venous drainage is a predictive factor of poor clinical outcome in patients with an acute ischemic stroke. The aim of this investigation is to test the hypothesis that the decline in blood flow in medullary veins (MV) on CT angiogram (CTA) of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) can also be predictive of clinical outcome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a database of patients with AIS who were evaluated by multiphase CTA and enrolled individuals with AIS and evidence of occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid artery, the M1 or M2 segment of the middle cerebral artery, or combination of two occlusions. To characterize asymmetry of MV we used similar principle that was previously established for MV on SWI MR-images; asymmetry was defined was presence of 5 or more contrast opacified MV in one hemisphere as compared to the contralateral side. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by mRS in 90 days. The Fisher Exact test was used to examine the significance of the MV asymmetry. Odds ratio and interrater variability were calculated. Results: 66 patients with AIS were included. The presence of asymmetry in MV was associated with the higher frequency of poor clinical outcomes (84.6% vs 50.9%); the OR was 5.3. Interrater agreement in assessment on MV was moderate in our study (κ=0.55). Conclusion: This study shows that (a) medullary veins can be reliably assessed on multiphase CTA, (b) in patients with AIS, asymmetric appearance of MV is associated with poor clinical outcome.

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