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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2001 May-Jun;25(3):458-65.

Efficacy of MR angiography in the detection and characterization of occlusive disease in the vertebrobasilar system.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, New England Medical Center Hospitals, Boston, MA 02111, USA. rafeeque.bhadelia@es.nemc.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this work was to determine the efficacy of MR angiography (MRA) in the detection and characterization of occlusive disease in the vertebrobasilar system.

METHOD:

We retrospectively reviewed the posterior circulation registry of our institution to select 42 consecutive patients with posterior circulation ischemic symptoms who underwent both MRA and angiography. The extracranial vertebral arteries (ECVAs) were examined by two-dimensional time-of-flight MRA above the C6 level, and the intracranial vertebral arteries (ICVAs) and basilar arteries (BAs) were examined by three-dimensional time-of-flight MRA. Sixty-two ECVAs, 63 ICVAs, and 39 BAs were examined by the readers.

RESULTS:

Occlusive disease was seen on angiography in 22 of the 42 patients. The sensitivity and specificity values for detection of lesions in 12 ECVA, 19 ICVA, and 12 BA abnormalities were as follows: ECVA, 92 and 96% for Reader A and 100 and 90% for Reader B; ICVA, 84 and 93% for Reader A and 74 and 82% for Reader B; and BA, 100 and 88% for Reader A and 100 and 78% for Reader B. For ICVA, the sensitivity of MRA was less than that of angiography because of lesions missed by the readers at the junctional area of the extra-and intracranial MRA. MRA accurately characterized 9 of the 12 (75%) ECVA, 10 of the 19 (43%) ICVA, and 11 of the 12 (92%) BA lesions.

CONCLUSION:

MRA is an effective method for detection of occlusive lesions in the ECVAs and BAs. Clinically important lesions can be missed by MRA in the ICVA. MRA is more accurate in characterization of occlusive lesions in BAs than in ECVAs or ICVAs.

PMID:
11351199
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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