Objective: Evaluation of the diagnostic detectability of the intracranial vasculature on contrast-enhanced whole-body magnetic resonance angiographic (WBMRA) scans at 1.5 versus 3 T.
Methods: Twenty-seven patients with hereditary hyperlipidemia participated. Two experienced neuroradiologists scored the image quality regarding the intracranial arteries applying a 5-point scale. Stenoses and other findings were documented. Weighted κ-statistics were calculated to assess interobserver agreement.
Results: Interobserver agreement was very good. Image quality scoring resulted in the following mean values: 3.0 at 1.5 T versus 3.9 at 3 T (P < 0.001). Venous contrast overlay and insufficient anatomic coverage occurred in both groups. Three stenoses were found at both field strengths.
Conclusions: Assessment of the intracranial vasculature on WBMRA data is basically feasible; image quality at 3 T seems superior. Shortcomings appear because of venous contamination and insufficient volume coverage. Therefore, adding a dedicated intracranial MRA to a WBMRA protocol would substantially increase diagnostic certainty.