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Accuracy of Computed Tomographic Perfusion in Diagnosis of Brain Death: A Prospective Cohort Study

Marcin Sawicki, Joanna Sołek-Pastuszka, Katarzyna Chamier-Ciemińska, Anna Walecka, Romuald Bohatyrewicz

(Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:2777-2785

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.906304

BACKGROUND: This study was designed to determine diagnostic accuracy of computed tomographic perfusion (CTP) compared to computed tomographic angiography (CTA) for the diagnosis of brain death (BD).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Whole-brain CTP was performed in patients diagnosed with BD and in patients with devastating brain injury with preserved brainstem reflexes. CTA was derived from CTP datasets. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) and volume (CBV) were calculated in all brain regions. CTP findings were interpreted as confirming diagnosis of BD (positive) when CBF and CBV in all ROIs were below 10 mL/100 g/min and 1.0 mL/100 g, respectively. CTA findings were interpreted using a 4-point system.
Fifty brain-dead patients and 5 controls were included. In brain-dead patients, CTP results revealed CBF 0.00–9.98 mL/100 g/min and CBV 0.00–0.99 mL/100 g, and were thus interpreted as positive in all patients. CTA results suggested 7 negative cases, providing 86% sensitivity.
In the non-brain-dead group, CTP results revealed CBF 2.37–37.59 mL/100 g/min and CBV 0.73–2.34 mL/100 g. The difference between values of CBF and CBV in the brain-dead and non-brain-dead groups was statistically significant (p=0.002 for CBF and p=0.001 for CBV). CTP findings in all non-brain-dead patients were interpreted as negative. This resulted in a specificity of 100% (95% CI, 0.31–1.00) for CTP in the diagnosis of BD. In all non-brain-dead patients, CTA revealed preserved intracranial filling and was interpreted as negative. This resulted in a specificity of 100% (95% CI, 0.31–1.00) for CTA in diagnosis of BD.
CONCLUSIONS: Whole-brain CTP seems to be a highly sensitive and specific method in diagnosis of BD.

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