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Eur J Radiol. 2008 Jun;66(3):519-25. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

Intra-arterial MR-angiography on an open-bore MR-scanner compared to digital-subtraction angiography of the infra-popliteal runoff in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

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  • 1Department of Radiology University Hospital of Basel, Petersgraben 4, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.



To evaluate the diagnostic value of contrast-enhanced intra-arterial 3D-MR-angiography (IA-MRA) of the infra-popliteal arteries in an open-bore magnet. Number, severity of arterial lesions, and artefacts were compared to routinely performed intra-arterial digital-subtraction angiography (IA-DSA) in patients suffering from symptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD).


Fifteen patients admitted for PAOD underwent percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) by IA-DSA. After PTA, IA-MRA of the infra-popliteal station was performed on an open-bore 1.5T MR-scanner applying a low dose intra-arterial contrast-enhanced 3D-gradient-echo-MRA with gadopentate dimeglumine. The reading was performed by three blinded readers distinguishing moderate (< or =50%), significant stenoses (51-99%) and vessel occlusions. Imaging artefacts were recorded and binary classified as not disturbing or compromising the observation of the arterial tree.


Overall IA-DSA revealed 36 moderate stenoses (< or =50%), 38 significant stenoses (51-99%), and 10 vessel occlusions. For the detection of significant stenoses and occlusions, the overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of IA-MRA were 96%, 83%, 88%, 94% and 90%. The only observed artefact was venous overlay in four stations. The readout was not hampered in any case.


Intra-arterial contrast-enhanced 3D-gradient-echo-MRA on an open-bore MR-scanner offers an acceptable diagnostic accuracy in diagnosing peripheral arterial occlusive disease in the infra-popliteal region and correlates well with DSA.

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