The value of MR angiography techniques in the detection of head and neck paragangliomas.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to compare three-dimensional phase-contrast angiography (3D PCA), 2D time-of-flight (2D TOF), and 3D TOF magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and a proton density weighted technique in terms of their ability to detect head and neck paragangliomas.
14 patients with 29 paragangliomas were examined at 1.5 T. Three MR angiography sequences (3D PCA, 2D TOF, and multi-slab 3D TOF) and a proton density (PD) weighted sequence were reviewed by four neuroradiologists. The gold standard was digital subtraction angiography. Presence of tumor was assessed in five grades of confidence. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated after dichotomizing the results. Data was analyzed using the logistic regression method.
Mean sensitivity and specificity for the four observers were for PD: 72%/97%, for 3D PCA: 75%/90%, for 2D TOF: 66%/93%, and for 3D TOF: 90%/92%. Sensitivity was significantly better for 3D TOF MRA (P < 0.001). No substantial between-observer variation for tumor detection was present.
Our results demonstrate that, using 3D TOF MRA, paragangliomas in the head and neck region can be detected with high sensitivity and specificity. Further investigation is necessary to judge the value of 3D TOF MR angiography against fat suppressed contrast enhanced T1 weighted and fat suppressed T2 weighted MR sequences to find the optimal imaging sequence for paragangliomas.