Real-world evaluation of artificial intelligence software for cerebral large vessel occlusion detection in CT angiography

K. van Leeuwen, M. Becks, S. Schalekamp, B. van Ginneken, M. Rutten, M. de Rooij and F. Meijer

European Congress of Radiology 2022.

Purpose: The commercially available AI tool (StrokeViewer v2, Nicolab) supports the diagnostic process of stroke by detecting large vessel occlusions (LVO) on CTA. We prospectively evaluated this tool in our department to monitor safety and impact.

Methods: We implemented the software with the goal to improve the diagnosis of LVO and elevate the diagnostic confidence of the radiologist (resident). We used quantitative measures (data from clinical systems, vendor log files) and qualitative measures (user survey) to analyse diagnostic performance, number of users, login attempts, radiologists’ diagnostic confidence, and user experience.

Results: In total, 226 CTAs with a clinical indication of stroke between January-June 2021 were prospectively evaluated. Thirteen cases of posterior circulation and distal vessel occlusions were excluded as they were outside the intended use of the AI tool. The AI tool missed 12 of the 36 occlusions in the middle cerebral or intracranial internal carotid artery (M1=1, M2=10, ICA=1) resulting in an accuracy of 86.4%. Irrespective of location, the sensitivity was 77.8% and specificity 90.4%. The number of monthly unique users varied between 8 and 24 radiologists/residents. Log in attempts dropped after the initial month (which included training) to a monthly average of 44 attempts. The diagnostic confidence did not increase during the use of the tool. The likelihood that users would recommend StrokeViewer to colleagues was rated 4.5/10.

Conclusion: Over six months, the use of StrokeViewer dropped and users did not sense improvement of diagnostic confidence. Measures have been taken to stimulate adoption for the latter six months of the trial period.

Limitation: Because of the prospective character, no comparison could be made between radiologists supported by AI vs radiologists without AI.