Artificial Intelligence Detects Small Blood Vessel Disease in CT Scans

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now helping diagnose small blood vessel disease, one of the leading causes of dementia and stroke.

Clinical researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh have developed an AI software to diagnose small vessel disease from CT scan results.

The technology was first tested in 2018. Since then, researchers at MIT and at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and UC Berkeley have developed and tested similar technology and tests to diagnose brain disease.

CT scans are much faster than MRI scans and not need human interference, making it ideal for AI interference. This technology can help improve treatment times for patients in emergency rooms with signs of stroke, dementia, and other brain conditions. Improving emergency room wait times, even on a small scale can have a positive impact and save lives with the help of technology.

Professor Joanna Wardlaw, Head of Neuroimaging Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, added: “This is a first step in making a scan reading tool that could be useful in mining large routine scan datasets and, after more testing, might aid patient assessment at hospital admission with stroke.”

Researchers studied over 1,000 CT scans of stroke patients. The AI technology identified and measured makers of small blood vessel disease and indicated the severity of the disease in the patient utilizing a scale.

The AI findings were then compared to doctors estimating the severity of small blood vessel disease in the same scans. Researchers found the AI technology predicted the severity at an 85% accuracy rate.

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