The objective of this study was to evaluate a high spatial resolution 3-dimensional (3D) contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (CE-MR) venography protocol for evaluation of intracranial venous system using highly accelerated parallel imaging at 3.0 T.
Materials and Methods:
Ten patients (4 male, 6 female; age, 38–76 years) with suspected cerebrovascular disease were prospectively studied on a 32-channel 3.0 T MR system. After a single intravenous contrast injection, high spatial resolution 3D CE-MR angiography of the entire supraaortic arteries was performed followed immediately by 3D cerebral CE-MR venography. By using a fast 3D gradient-recalled-echo sequence with elliptic centric k-space ordering and highly accelerated parallel acquisition (acceleration factor 3 and 2 in phase and slice encoding direction, respectively), 3D cerebral CE-MR venography was acquired with voxel dimensions of 0.7 × 0.7 × 0.8 mm3 in 24 seconds. Image evaluation was performed independently by 2 neuroradiologists for overall image quality, presence of noise, and artifacts. The image quality of 30 venous segments was evaluated in each subject using a 1 to 4 scoring scale. In 2 patients, catheter angiography was available for correlation. Statistical analysis of data was performed by using Wilcoxon rank sum test and kappa coefficient.
All studies were determined to be of diagnostic image quality by both observers. The majority (90%) of cerebral venous segments were evaluated to be of diagnostic image quality (median, 3; range, 3–4) by both readers and with excellent interobserver agreement (κ = 0.86; 95% confidence interval, 0.79–0.93). One meningioma invading the superior sagittal sinus and one superior sagittal sinus fistula were detected subsequently confirmed by conventional angiography.
High spatial resolution 3D cerebral CE-MR venography is feasible and promising. Using a 32-channel 3.0 T system combined with multichannel array coils effectively supports highly accelerated parallel imaging, enabling subsequent acquisition of both high spatial resolution CE-MR angiography and CE-MR venography after a single contrast injection without impairing the image quality. More extensive clinical studies are warranted to establish the range of applications and confirm the accuracy of this technique.