What is meant by "TICI"?

J. E. Fugate, A. M. Klunder, David F Kallmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: In 2003, Higashida et al proposed the Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction scale to evaluate angiographic intracranial flow. Our aim is to review how subsequently published studies define TICI. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used the ISI Web of Knowledge and SciVerse Scopus databases to search for "TICI" and "thrombolysis in cerebral infarction" and for articles that cited the original TICI paper from January 2004 through May 2012. Articles were categorized according to their definition of the TICI categories, typically grades 0-4, with grade 2 (partial reperfusion) subdivided into 2a and 2b, and rate of contrast entry to the perfused area. In addition, we catalogued the type of redefinitions of TICI subcategory 2 and additions of new categories. RESULTS: Of 236 articles screened, 74 were included. Eight (11%) explicitly followed the TICI scale as originally defined. Thirty-seven (50%) cited Higashida but did not define their scale. Fifteen (21%) used and explained modified scales. Thirteen (18%) used the term TICI, but did not define the scale and did not cite Higashida. Eighteen (24%) specified a 2a subcategory. Nine defined grade 2a as <67% filling, 6 defined it as <50%, and 3 did not offer a percentage. Two studies added a 2c subcategory. Fifty-two (70%) used a cutoff level to define "successful reperfusion." Of these, 65% used TICI ≥2, 33% used TICI ≥2b, and 2% used TICI = 3. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial variability in the definition and/or application of the TICI scale in the literature. This variability could considerably impact our understanding of results of revascularization studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1792-1797
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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