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3-T Magnetic Resonance Angiography in Primary Angiitis of the Central Nervous System

Cosottini, Mirco MD; Canovetti, Silvia MD; Pesaresi, Ilaria MD; Desideri, Ilaria MD; Pizzanelli, Chiara MD; Catarsi, Eleonora MD; Puglioli, Michele MD; Tavoni, Antonio MD; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo MD; Bartolozzi, Carlo MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: July/August 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 4 - p 493–498
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e31829610e5

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:

No conflict of interest is related to the article.

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