Noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) has been used for the detection of early ischemic change (EIC); however, correct interpretation of NCCT findings requires much clinical experience. This study aimed to assess the accuracy of time maximum intensity projection computed tomography technique (tMIP), which reflects the maximum value for the time phase direction from the dynamic volume data for each projected plane, for detection of EIC, against that of NCCT. Retrospective review of NCCT, cerebral blood volume in CT perfusion (CTP-CBV), and tMIP of 186 lesions from 280 regions evaluated by Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) in 14 patients with acute middle cerebral artery stroke who had undergone whole-brain CTP using 320-row area detector CT was performed. Four radiologists reviewed EIC on NCCT, CTP-CBV, and tMIP in each ASPECTS region at onset using the continuous certainty factor method. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to compare the relative performance for detection of EIC. The correlations were evaluated. tMIP-color showed the best discriminative value for detection of EIC. There were significant differences in the area under the curve for NCCT and tMIP-color, CTP-CBV (P < .05). Scatter plots of ASPECTS showed a positive significant correlation between NCCT, tMIP-gray, tMIP-color, and the follow-up study (NCCT, r = 0.32, P = .0166; tMIP-gray, r = 0.44, P = .0007; tMIP-color, r = 0.34, P = .0104). Because tMIP provides a high contrast parenchymal image with anatomical and vascular information in 1 sequential scan, it showed greater accuracy for detection of EIC and predicted the final infarct extent more accurately than NCCT based on ASPECTS.
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