In-vivo phase contrast magnetic resonance angiography of the cerebrovascular system: a comparative study with duplex sonography
PURPOSE: Assessment of the cerebral blood flow (CBF) is crucial in the evaluation of patients with steno-occlusive diseases of the arteries supplying the brain for prediction of stroke risk. Quantitative phase contrast magnetic resonance angiography (PC-MRA) can be utilised for noninvasive quantification of CBF. The aim of this study was to validate in-vivo PC-MRA data by comparing them with colour-coded duplex (CCD) sonography in patients with cerebrovascular disease.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: We examined 24 consecutive patients (mean age 63 years) with stenosis of arteries supplying the brain using PC-MRA and CCD. Velocities were measured in a total of 209 stenotic and healthy arterial segments (110 extra- and 99 intracranial).
RESULTS: Moderate to good correlation of velocity measurements between both techniques was observed in all six extracranial and five out of seven intracranial segments (p <0.05). Velocities measured with CCD sonography were generally higher than those obtained by PC-MRA. Reversal of flow direction was detected consistently with both methods.
CONCLUSION: PC-MRA represents a robust, standardised magnetic resonance imaging technique for blood flow measurements within a reasonable acquisition time, potentially evolving as valuable work-up tool for more precise patient stratification for revascularisation therapy. PC-MRA overcomes relevant weaknesses of CCD in being not operator-dependent and not relying on a bone window to assess the intracranial arteries.
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