A deep learning approach to predict collateral flow in stroke patients using radiomic features from perfusion images

Giles Tetteh, Fernando Navarro, Raphael Meier, Johannes Kaesmacher, Johannes C. Paetzold, Jan S. Kirschke, Claus Zimmer, Roland Wiest, Bjoern H. Menze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Collateral circulation results from specialized anastomotic channels which are capable of providing oxygenated blood to regions with compromised blood flow caused by arterial obstruction. The quality of collateral circulation has been established as a key factor in determining the likelihood of a favorable clinical outcome and goes a long way to determining the choice of a stroke care model. Though many imaging and grading methods exist for quantifying collateral blood flow, the actual grading is mostly done through manual inspection. This approach is associated with a number of challenges. First, it is time-consuming. Second, there is a high tendency for bias and inconsistency in the final grade assigned to a patient depending on the experience level of the clinician. We present a multi-stage deep learning approach to predict collateral flow grading in stroke patients based on radiomic features extracted from MR perfusion data. First, we formulate a region of interest detection task as a reinforcement learning problem and train a deep learning network to automatically detect the occluded region within the 3D MR perfusion volumes. Second, we extract radiomic features from the obtained region of interest through local image descriptors and denoising auto-encoders. Finally, we apply a convolutional neural network and other machine learning classifiers to the extracted radiomic features to automatically predict the collateral flow grading of the given patient volume as one of three severity classes - no flow (0), moderate flow (1), and good flow (2). Results from our experiments show an overall accuracy of 72% in the three-class prediction task. With an inter-observer agreement of 16% and a maximum intra-observer agreement of 74% in a similar experiment, our automated deep learning approach demonstrates a performance comparable to expert grading, is faster than visual inspection, and eliminates the problem of grading bias.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1039693
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - 2023


  • angiography
  • auto-encoder
  • collateral flow
  • deep learning
  • image descriptors
  • perfusion
  • radiomics
  • reinforcement learning


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