Reliability of the global cortical atrophy visual rating scale applied to computed tomography versus magnetic resonance imaging scans in acute stroke
Hobden G., Colbourne E., Pendlebury ST., Demeyere N.
Introduction: Research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggests regional cerebral atrophy measures (e.g., frontal lobe, temporal lobe) may predict post-stroke outcomes. Clinical CT scans have excellent potential for use in research but it is unclear whether regional atrophy measures from CT are reliable compared to MRI reference standards. Methods: We used the Global Cortical Atrophy (GCA) scale to investigate reliability of atrophy measures on CT versus MRI scans from stroke patients originally recruited to the Oxford Cognitive Screening programme. Two raters provided standardised visual ratings at two timepoints. Weighted Kappa statistics assessed the reliability of regional atrophy scores. Spearman’s correlation and a two-way repeated measures ANOVA assessed the reliability of the total score. Results: On clinically acquired neuroimaging from 98 stroke patients (mean/SD age = 70.97/11.99, 42 female, 84 ischaemic stroke), regional GCA scores on CT versus MRI showed fair to almost perfect intra-rater agreement (κ =.50–.87), substantial to almost perfect intra-rater agreement on CT (κ =.67–.88), and moderate to almost perfect intra-rater reliability on MRI (κ =.50–.89). Regional GCA scores showed mostly moderate to substantial inter-rater reliability on both CT and MRI (κ =.43–.69), except the temporal horns and parieto-occipital region. There was a strong correlation between total GCA scores on CT and MRI (r (96) =.87–.88, p