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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2011 Jan-Feb;35(1):4-8. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3181f124d9.

Possibilities and limitations in imaging the intracranial arteries in the context of a contrast-enhanced whole-body magnetic resonance angiographic screening protocol at 1.5 versus 3 Tesla.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Medical Clinic III, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.



Evaluation of the diagnostic detectability of the intracranial vasculature on contrast-enhanced whole-body magnetic resonance angiographic (WBMRA) scans at 1.5 versus 3 T.


Twenty-seven patients with hereditary hyperlipidemia participated. Two experienced neuroradiologists scored the image quality regarding the intracranial arteries applying a 5-point scale. Stenoses and other findings were documented. Weighted κ-statistics were calculated to assess interobserver agreement.


Interobserver agreement was very good. Image quality scoring resulted in the following mean values: 3.0 at 1.5 T versus 3.9 at 3 T (P < 0.001). Venous contrast overlay and insufficient anatomic coverage occurred in both groups. Three stenoses were found at both field strengths.


Assessment of the intracranial vasculature on WBMRA data is basically feasible; image quality at 3 T seems superior. Shortcomings appear because of venous contamination and insufficient volume coverage. Therefore, adding a dedicated intracranial MRA to a WBMRA protocol would substantially increase diagnostic certainty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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