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Rofo. 2004 Jan;176(1):21-6.

Sensitivity encoding (SENSE) for high spatial resolution time-of-flight MR angiography of the intracranial arteries at 3.0 T.

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Department of Radiology, University of Bonn, Germany.



1) To evaluate feasibility of sensitivity encoding (SENSE) for high spatial resolution intracranial 3D time-of-flight (TOF) MR angiography at 3.0 T using a 1024 imaging matrix and 2) to compare image quality and diagnostic yield with 3.0 T TOF MRA without SENSE.


In a prospective study TOF MR angiography of the circle of Willis was performed with SENSE in 24 patients on a clinical whole body 3.0 T MR system (Intera, Philips Medical Systems, NL). In the SENSE protocol (S-MRA), a SENSE factor of 2.5 was used to shorten acquisition time and to increase the anatomic coverage (5:12 min.; 150 slices). A matrix of 832 x 572 was acquired and reconstructed to 1024 yielding a non-zerofilled voxel size of 0.30 x 0.44 x 1.00 mm(3) (0.13 mm(3)). Two readers were asked to review the images regarding the presence of vascular disease, and to rate, in consensus, the quality of the angiograms on a 5-point scale (5 = excellent through 1 = non-diagnostic). Results were compared with the results in 15 subjects who underwent intracranial TOF MRA at 3.0 T without SENSE (NS-MRA: acquisition time, 7:57 min.; 100 slices). Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) served as standard of reference in the 4/24 patients in whom vascular disease was identified.


S-MRA at 3.0 T was judged to provide image quality that was adequate for diagnosis or better in 24/24. Median score of image quality of S-MRA and NS-MRA were 5 and 5, respectively. In the 4 patients with DSA correlation, a total of 8 pathologic findings (7 steno-occlusive diseases, 1 aneurysm) were correctly identified on S-MRA.


The use of SENSE for intracranial TOF MRA at very high imaging matrix is feasible at 3.0 T. Compared to the imaging technique without SENSE, it allows TOF MRA with substantially reduced acquisition time, and with substantially increased anatomic coverage while maintaining image quality of NS-MRA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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