Validation of an automated ASPECTS method on non-contrast computed tomography scans of acute ischemic stroke patients

for the INTERRSeCT Collaborators

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Background: The Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) is a systematic method of assessing the extent of early ischemic change on non-contrast computed tomography in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Our objective was to validate an automated ASPECTS scoring method we recently developed on a large data set. Materials and methods: We retrospectively collected 602 acute ischemic stroke patients’ non-contrast computed tomography scans. Expert ASPECTS readings on non-contrast computed tomography were compared to automated ASPECTS. Statistical analyses on the total ASPECTS, region level ASPECTS, and dichotomized ASPECTS (≤4 vs. >4) score were conducted. Results: In total, 602 scans were evaluated and 6020 (602 × 10) ASPECTS regions were scored. Median time from stroke onset to computed tomography was 114 min (interquartile range: 73–183 min). Total ASPECTS for the 602 patients generated by the automated method agreed well with expert readings (intraclass correlation coefficient): 0.65 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.60–0.69). Region level analysis showed that the automated method yielded accuracy of 81.25%, sensitivity of 61.13% (95% CI: 58.4%–63.8%), specificity of 86.56% (95% CI: 85.6%–87.5%), and area under curve of 0.74 (95% CI: 0.73–0.75). For dichotomized ASPECTS (≤4 vs. >4), the automated method demonstrated sensitivity 97.21% (95% CI: 95.4%–98.4%), specificity 57.81% (95% CI: 44.8%–70.1%), accuracy 93.02%, and area under the curve of 0.78 (95% CI: 0.74–0.81). For each individual region (M1–6, lentiform, insula, and caudate), the automated method demonstrated acceptable performance. Conclusion: The automated system we developed approached the stroke expert in performance when scoring ASPECTS on non-contrast computed tomography scans of acute ischemic stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-534
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Alberta Stroke Program Early CT score
  • automated ASPECTS scoring
  • ischemic stroke
  • machine learning
  • non-contrast computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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