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Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformations: Comparison of Novel Magnetic Resonance Angiographic Techniques and Conventional Catheter Angiography

Warren, Daniel James B.Med.Sci.; Hoggard, Nigel F.R.C.R.; Walton, Lee B.S.C.; Radatz, Matthias Walter Richard F.R.C.S.; Kemeny, Andras A. F.R.C.S.; Forster, David Martin Campbell F.R.C.S.; Wilkinson, Iain David Ph.D.; Griffiths, Paul David F.R.C.R., Ph.D.

Clinical Studies

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the potential of novel magnetic resonance (MR) angiographic techniques for the assessment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations.

METHODS: Forty patients who were about to undergo stereotactic radiosurgery were prospectively recruited. Three-dimensional, sliding-slab interleaved ky (SLINKY), time-of-flight acquisition was performed, as was a dynamic MR digital subtraction angiography (DSA) procedure in which single thick slices (6–10 cm) were obtained using a radiofrequency spoiled Fourier-acquired steady-state sequence (1 image/s). Sixty images were acquired, in two or three projections, during passage of a 6- to 10-ml bolus of gadolinium chelate. Subtraction and postprocessing were performed, and images were viewed in an inverted cine mode. SLINKY time-of-flight acquisition was repeated after the administration of gadolinium. Routine stereotactic conventional catheter angiography was performed after MR imaging. All images were assessed (in a blinded randomized manner) for Spetzler-Martin grading and determination of associated vascular pathological features.

RESULTS: Forty-one arteriovenous malformations were assessed in 40 patients. Contrast-enhanced (CE) SLINKY MR angiography was the most consistent MR imaging technique, yielding a 95% correlation with the Spetzler-Martin classification defined by conventional catheter angiography; MR DSA exhibited 90% agreement, and SLINKY MR angiography exhibited 81% agreement. CE SLINKY MR angiography provided improved nidus delineation, compared with non-CE SLINKY MR angiography. Dynamic information from MR DSA significantly improved the observation of early-draining veins and associated aneurysms.

CONCLUSION: CE SLINKY MR angiographic assessment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations offers significant advantages, compared with the use of non-CE SLINKY MR angiography, including improved nidus demonstration. MR DSA shows promise as a noninvasive method for dynamic angiography but is presently restricted by limitations in both temporal and spatial resolution.

Section of Academic Radiology (DJW, NH, IDW, PDG), University of Sheffield, and Department of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (LW, MWRR, AAK, DMCF), Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, England

Received, November 9, 2000.

Accepted, December 22, 2000.

Reprint requests: Paul D. Griffiths, F.R.C.R., Ph.D., Section of Academic Radiology, Floor C, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield, England S10 2JF. Email:

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons