Intracranial Arterial Wall Imaging Using Three-Dimensional High Isotropic Resolution Black Blood MRI at 3.0 Tesla

The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Impact Factor: 3.21). 07/2011; 34(1):22-30. DOI: 10.1002/jmri.22592
Source: PubMed


To develop a high isotropic-resolution sequence to evaluate intracranial vessels at 3.0 Tesla (T).
Thirteen healthy volunteers and 4 patients with intracranial stenosis were imaged at 3.0T using 0.5-mm isotropic-resolution three-dimensional (3D) Volumetric ISotropic TSE Acquisition (VISTA; TSE, turbo spin echo), with conventional 2D-TSE for comparison. VISTA was repeated for 6 volunteers and 4 patients at 0.4-mm isotropic-resolution to explore the trade-off between SNR and voxel volume. Wall signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR(wall) ), wall-lumen contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR(wall-lumen) ), lumen area (LA), wall area (WA), mean wall thickness (MWT), and maximum wall thickness (maxWT) were compared between 3D-VISTA and 2D-TSE sequences, as well as 3D images acquired at both resolutions. Reliability was assessed by intraclass correlations (ICC).
Compared with 2D-TSE measurements, 3D-VISTA provided 58% and 74% improvement in SNR(wall) and CNR(wall-lumen) , respectively. LA, WA, MWT and maxWT from 3D and 2D techniques highly correlated (ICCs of 0.96, 0.95, 0.96, and 0.91, respectively). CNR(wall-lumen) using 0.4-mm resolution VISTA decreased by 27%, compared with 0.5-mm VISTA but with reduced partial-volume-based overestimation of wall thickness. Reliability for 3D measurements was good to excellent.
The 3D-VISTA provides SNR-efficient, highly reliable measurements of intracranial vessels at high isotropic-resolution, enabling broad coverage in a clinically acceptable time.

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Available from: Ye Qiao, Jul 17, 2014
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    • "c o m Please cite this article as: Zhang L, et al, High resolution three dimensional intracranial arterial wall imaging at 3 T using T1 weighted SPACE, Magn Reson Imaging (2015), 11–12 minutes. The spatial resolution is lower than that in Ref. [8], and the need for an ultra-high field system limits the routine clinical use of the technique. Good T1 contrast is essential in intracranial arterial wall imaging. "
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    • "We found that an available FLAIR sequence with resolution of 0.4 mm showed good visualization of the atherosclerotic wall, likely due to the suppression of CSF signal. Unlike in T1/ PD-weighted VISTA images wherein the vessel wall remained visible in normal volunteers (Qiao et al. 2011), in our FLAIR images, a normal artery wall is essentially imperceptible (Fig. 1E), suggesting that FLAIR may be sensitive for detection of vascular wall pathology. "
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