Links To And Excerpts From “What is the added value of CT-angiography in patients with transient ischemic attack?”

In this post, I link to and excerpt from What is the added value of CT-angiography in patients with transient ischemic attack? [PubMed Abstract] [Full-Text HTML] [Full-Text PDF]. BMC Neurol. 2022 Jan 3;22(1):7.

All that follows is from the above resource.



Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is an important predictor for a pending stroke. Guidelines recommend a workup for TIA-patients similar to that of stroke patients, including an assessment of the extra- and intracranial arteries for vascular pathologies with direct therapeutic implications via computed tomography angiography (CTA). Aim of our study was a systematic analysis of TIA-patients receiving early CTA-imaging and to evaluate the predictive value of TIA-scores and clinical characteristics for ipsilateral vascular pathologies and the need of an invasive treatment.


We analysed clinical and imaging data from TIA patients being admitted to a tertiary university hospital between September 2015 and March 2018. Following subgroups were identified: 1) no- or low-grade vascular pathology 2) ipsilateral high-risk vascular pathology and 3) high-risk findings that needed invasive, surgical or interventional treatment. We investigated established TIA-scores (ABCD2-, the ABCD3– and the SPI-II score) and various clinical characteristics as predictive factors for ipsilateral vascular pathologies and the need for invasive treatment.


Of 812 patients, 531 (65.4%) underwent initial CTA in the emergency department. In 121 (22.8%) patients, ipsilateral vascular pathologies were identified, of which 36 (6.7%) needed invasive treatment. The ABCD2-, ABCD3– and SPI-II-scores were not predictive for ipsilateral vascular pathologies or the need for invasive treatment. We identified male sex (OR 1.579, 95%CI 1.049–2.377, p = 0.029), a short duration of symptoms (OR 0.692, 95% CI 0.542–0.884, p = 0.003), arterial hypertension (OR 1.718, 95%CI 0.951–3.104, p = 0.073) and coronary heart disease (OR 1.916, 95%CI 1.184–3.101, p = 0.008) as predictors for ipsilateral vascular pathologies. As predictors for the need of invasive treatment, a short duration of symptoms (OR 0.565, 95%CI 0.378–0.846, p = 0.006), arterial hypertension (OR 2.612, 95%OR 0.895–7.621, p = 0.079) and hyperlipidaemia (OR 5.681, 95%CI 0.766–42.117, p = 0.089) as well as the absence of atrial fibrillation (OR 0.274, OR 0.082–0.917, p = 0.036) were identified.


More than every fifth TIA-patient had relevant vascular findings revealed by acute CTA. TIA-scores were not predictive for these findings. Patients with a short duration of symptoms and a vascular risk profile including coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension and hyperlipidaemia most likely might benefit from early CTA to streamline further diagnostics and therapy.

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