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In perfusion magnetic resonance imaging a manual approach to delineation of regions of interest is, due to rater bias and time intensive operator input, clinically less favorable than an automated approach would be. The goal of our study was to compare the performances of these approaches.
Using Stroketool, PMA and Perfscape/Neuroscape perfusion maps of cerebral blood flow, mean transit time and Tmax were created for 145 patients with acute ischemic stroke. Volumes of hypoperfused tissue were calculated using both a manual and an automated protocol, and the results compared between methods.
The median difference between the automatically and manually derived volumes was up to 210ml in Perfscape/Neuroscape, 123ml in PMA and 135ml in Stroketool. Correlation coefficients between perfusion volumes and radiological and clinical outcome were much lower for the automatic volumes than for the manually derived ones.
The agreement of the two methods was very poor, with the automated use producing falsely exaggerated volumes of hypoperfused tissue. Software improvements are necessary to enable highly automated protocols to credibly assess perfusion deficits.