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BACKGROUND: The Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) has been used to quantify early ischemic changes on computed tomography (CT) brain scans of acute stroke patients. We sought to assess the reliability of the score when performed in real time as compared with an expert rating performed at a later time point. METHODS: Two hundred fourteen patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack were prospectively recruited if they had a brain CT scan performed within 12 hours of symptom onset. Each scan was read for ASPECTS prospectively by the treating physician and later by 1 expert reader. A weighted kappa statistic was used to determine the interobserver agreement. RESULTS: The median baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 5 (range: 0 to 32) and the median time to CT scan was 152 minutes (range: 22 to 769). The interobserver agreement between ASPECTS performed in real time and expert ASPECTS was substantial (kappa(w)=0.69). The mean difference between real-time ASPECTS and expert ASPECTS was 0 (SD: 1.1). CONCLUSIONS: ASPECTS is a reliable clinical scale for rating early ischemic changes on CT when performed in real time.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





e103 - e105


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Brain Ischemia, Female, Humans, Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Observer Variation, Prospective Studies, Reproducibility of Results, Severity of Illness Index, Stroke, Tomography, X-Ray Computed