Imaging of the intracranial venous system with a contrast-enhanced volumetric interpolated examination

Stephan G. Wetzel, Meng Law, Vivian S. Lee, Soonmee Cha, Glyn Johnson, Kim Nelson

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29 Citations (Scopus)


A contrast-enhanced interpolated, three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo MR sequence with asymmetric k-space sampling, which we refer to as volumetric interpolated brain examination (VIBE), was evaluated for its depiction of the normal intracranial venous system and compared with two-dimensional (2D) time-of-flight (TOF) MR venography (MRV). Fifteen subjects underwent contrast-enhanced VIBE imaging (TR/TE 8 ms/4.4 ms, flip angle 18°, acquisition time, 2 min 20 s, voxel size approximately 1.5 mm3) and standard 2D TOF MRV (TR/TE 27 ms/9 ms, flip angle 35°). The presence of 19 venous structures per subject was assessed on maximum intensity projections (MIP) of the whole data set (whole-brain MIP) and on MIP images reconstructed spontaneously from source images (interactive MIP/source images). Results from a consensus reading where all imaging techniques and display modalities were available were taken as the standard of reference for the presence of venous structures. In addition, 10 subjects underwent both unenhanced and enhanced VIBE imaging. The value of subtracted data sets (unenhanced VIBE subtracted from enhanced VIBE) was then evaluated. Overall, VIBE provided a superior visualization of the cerebral veins than 2D TOF MRV (VIBE, sensitivity (reader 1/reader 2): 98%/99%, negative predictive value 64%/71%; TOF sensitivity: 85%/84%, negative predictive value 15%/15%; Wilcoxon signed-rank test VIBE vs TOF, p<0.001 for both readers). The VIBE interactive MIP/source images were superior to whole-brain MIP reconstructions. Image subtraction was not necessary for delineation of venous structures but improved small vein conspicuity. Contrast-enhanced VIBE acquisitions are faster and enable a visualization of the normal intracranial venous system superior to that of 2D TOF MRV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1018
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003

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