The role of dual energy CT in differentiating between brain haemorrhage and contrast medium after mechanical revascularisation in acute ischaemic stroke

M. P. M. Tijssen, P. A. M. Hofman, A. A. R. Stadler, W. van Zwam, R. de Graaf, R. J. van Oostenbrugge, E. Klotz, J. E. Wildberger, A. A. Postma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

95 Citations (Web of Science)


To assess the feasibility of dual energy computed tomography (DE-CT) in intra-arterially treated acute ischaemic stroke patients to discriminate between contrast extravasation and intracerebral haemorrhage. Thirty consecutive acute ischaemic stroke patients following intra-arterial treatment were examined with DE-CT. Simultaneous imaging at 80 kV and 140 kV was employed with calculation of mixed images. Virtual unenhanced non-contrast (VNC) images and iodine overlay maps (IOM) were calculated using a dedicated brain haemorrhage algorithm. Mixed images alone, as "conventional CT", and DE-CT interpretations were evaluated and compared with follow-up CT. Eight patients were excluded owing to a lack of follow-up or loss of data. Mixed images showed intracerebral hyperdense areas in 19/22 patients. Both haemorrhage and residual contrast material were present in 1/22. IOM suggested contrast extravasation in 18/22 patients; in 16/18 patients this was confirmed at follow-up. The positive predictive value (PPV) of mixed imaging alone was 25 %, with a negative predictive value (NPV) of 91 % and accuracy of 63 %. The PPV for detection of haemorrhage with DE-CT was 100 %, with an NPV of 89 % and accuracy improved to 89 %. Dual energy computed tomography improves accuracy and diagnostic confidence in early differentiation between intracranial haemorrhage and contrast medium extravasation in acute stroke patients following intra-arterial revascularisation. aEuro cent Contrast material and haemorrhage have similar density on conventional 120-kV CT. aEuro cent Contrast material hinders interpretation of CT in stroke patients after recanalisation. aEuro cent Iodine and haemorrhage have different attenuation at lower kVs. aEuro cent Dual energy CT improves accuracy in early differentiation of haemorrhage and contrast extravasation. aEuro cent Early differentiation between iodine and haemorrhage helps to initiate therapy promptly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-840
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • CT systems
  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy
  • Intracranial haemorrhages
  • Extravasation of diagnostic and therapeutic materials

Cite this