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Assessment of vasculature of meningiomas and the effects of embolization with intra-arterial MR perfusion imaging: a feasibility study.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Embolization of meningiomas has emerged as a preoperative adjuvant therapy that has proved effective in mitigating blood loss during surgical resection. Arterial supply to these tumors is typically identified by diffuse areas of parenchymal staining after selective x-ray angiograms. We investigate the benefits that selective injection of MR contrast may have in identifying vascular territories and determining the effects of embolization therapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Selective intra-arterial (IA) injection of dilute MR contrast media was used to assess the vascular distribution territories of meningeal tumors before and after embolization therapy. Regions of the tumor that experienced loss of signal intensity after localized contrast injections into the external and common carotid as well as vertebral arteries were used to quantify the specific vessel's volume of distribution. Assessments were made before and after embolization to reveal changes in the vascular supply of the tumor. MR findings were compared with radiographic evaluation of tumor vascular supply on the basis of conventional x-ray angiography.

RESULTS: MR proved to be an excellent means to assess tissue fed by selected arteries and clearly demonstrated the treated and untreated portions of the neoplasm after therapy. In some instances, MR revealed postembolization residual enhancement of the tumor that was difficult to appreciate on x-ray angiograms. Very low contrast dose was necessary, which made repeated assessment during therapy practical.

CONCLUSION: MR perfusion imaging with selective IA injection of dilute contrast can reveal the distribution territory of vessels. Changes in tumor vasculature could be detected after embolization, which reveal the volumetric fraction of the tumor affected by the therapy.

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