Three-dimensional gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography of the intracranial venous system

H Daikokuya, Y Inoue, R Yamada
Osaka City Medical Journal 2001, 47 (2): 165-75

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of three-dimensional (3D) gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiography for evaluation of the intracranial venous system.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-three patients underwent 3D dynamic gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography as well as two-dimensional (2D) time-of-flight (TOF) MR venography in transverse and coronal planes and conventional catheter cerebral angiography with digital subtraction. MR venography was displayed using a maximum-intensity-projection (MIP) algorithm. The acquisition time of 3D gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography was 102 seconds, and that of 2D TOF MR venography was about 7 minutes in the transverse plane and about 9 minutes in the coronal plane. Degree of visualization of the intracranial venous system on each MR sequence was compared with that on conventional catheter cerebral angiography as a standard.

RESULTS: Superficial cortical veins and the dural sinus were better visualized on 3D gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography than on 2D TOF MR venography.

CONCLUSION: Three-dimensional gadolinium-enhanced MR angiography is noninvasive and very useful for imaging of the intracranial venous system. It can replace 2D TOF MR venography not only because of its short examination time but because it better demonstrates intracranial venous structures. For evaluation of the SSS, lateral sinus, sigmoid sinus and straight sinus in particular, conventional catheter angiography seems to be unnecessary.

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