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J Neurosurg. 2006 Nov;105(5):682-8.

Multislice computed tomography angiography screening for new aneurysms in patients with previously clip-treated intracranial aneurysms: Feasibility, positive predictive value, and interobserver agreement.

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Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Multislice computed tomography (CT) angiography may be useful for screening patients with intracranial aneurysms that are treated with clip occlusion. However, cobalt clips produce much more artifact on CT scans than titanium clips, which may hamper the evaluation of the image obtained at the clip site.


The authors screened 415 patients with previously ruptured aneurysms that had been treated using cobalt clips. Screening was performed using multislice CT angiography. The feasibility of this modality for screening these patients (based on the complication risk, CT angiography quality, and artifact avoidance) and interobserver agreement were evaluated. Patients in whom the presence of an aneurysm was suspected based on results of CT angiography studies underwent digital subtraction (DS) angiography. False-negative and false-positive findings were recorded, and the positive predictive value (PPV) was calculated. Eight patients (1.9%) had allergies to the contrast material. The quality of the CT angiography image was suboptimal in 14%. In 52%, clip artifacts hampered evaluation of the clip site. In 65 patients who underwent DS angiography, there were nine false-positive and eight false-negative reports related to aneurysms that were either small, located at the clip site, or were infundibula. The PPV on a per-patient basis was 86% (95% confidence interval [CI] 75-94%); for aneurysms at the clip site it was 83% (95% CI 61-95%); and for aneurysms at different locations it was 91% (95% CI 81-97%). The interobserver agreement was good (kappa = 0.69; 95% CI 0.60-0.78).


Except for the evaluation of images from the clip site, CT angiography has good feasibility with good PPV and interobserver agreement. Drawbacks are that very small aneurysms can be missed and that visualization is poor at the clip site in patients in whom cobalt clips have been placed for occlusion. This second problem can be expected to resolve with the increasing use of titanium clips.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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