Objective: Primary angiitis of the central nervous system (PACNS) is a rare disease characterized by an inflammatory process of intracranial vessels. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) (3 T) offers increased signal-to-noise ratio and background suppression, leading to better depiction of the intracranial vessels. The aim of our work was to compare the sensitivity of 3-T MRA to that of 1.5-T MRA in the diagnosis of PACNS.
Methods: Eight patients with PACNS and signs of angiitis at digital subtraction angiography (DSA) underwent MRA at 1.5 and 3 T. Magnetic resonance angiograms obtained with time-of-flight (TOF) technique were evaluated for the presence of stenosis with respect to DSA.
Results: In PACNS patients, DSA identified 827 intracranial stenoses. Sensitivity for vessel stenosis of 3-T TOF MRA was 47% and 14% for 1.5-T TOF.
Conclusions: Time-of-flight MRA at 3 T improved the sensitivity of MRA in the noninvasive preliminary evaluation of patients with PACNS.
From the * Department of Neuroscience, University of Pisa; † Unit of Neuroradiology, S. Chiara Hospital; ‡ Department of Radiology, Transplant and New Technologies in Medicine, Unit of Radiology, University of Pisa; and § Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Rheumatic Disease Units, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
Received for publication March 15, 2013; accepted April 3, 2013.
Reprints: Silvia Canovetti, MD, Department of Radiology, Transplant and New Technologies in Medicine, Unit of Radiology, University of Pisa, via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Italy 56100 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
No conflict of interest is related to the article.