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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2014 May;35(5):1016-21. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A3794. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Evaluation of SWI in children with sickle cell disease.

Author information

1
From the Departments of Radiological Sciences (A.M.W., B.A.T., R.S., R.B.L., P.G., R.J.O., C.M.H., K.J.H.).
2
Hematology (J.S.H., W.C.W.), St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.
3
From the Departments of Radiological Sciences (A.M.W., B.A.T., R.S., R.B.L., P.G., R.J.O., C.M.H., K.J.H.) Kathleen.helton@stjude.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

SWI is a powerful tool for imaging of the cerebral venous system. The SWI venous contrast is affected by blood flow, which may be altered in sickle cell disease. In this study, we characterized SWI venous contrast in patients with sickle cell disease and healthy control participants and examined the relationships among SWI venous contrast, and hematologic variables in the group with sickle cell disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A retrospective review of MR imaging and hematologic variables from 21 patients with sickle cell disease and age- and sex-matched healthy control participants was performed. A Frangi vesselness filter was used to quantify the attenuation of visible veins from the SWI. The normalized visible venous volume was calculated for quantitative analysis of venous vessel conspicuity.

RESULTS:

The normalized visible venous volume was significantly lower in the group with sickle cell disease vs the control group (P < .001). Normalized visible venous volume was not associated with hemoglobin, percent hemoglobin F, percent hemoglobin S, absolute reticulocyte count, or white blood cell count. A hypointense arterial signal on SWI was observed in 18 of the 21 patients with sickle cell disease and none of the 21 healthy control participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates the variable and significantly lower normalized visible venous volume in patients with sickle cell disease compared with healthy control participants. Decreased venous contrast in sickle cell disease may reflect abnormal cerebral blood flow, volume, velocity, or oxygenation. Quantitative analysis of SWI contrast may be useful for investigation of cerebrovascular pathology in patients with sickle cell disease, and as a tool to monitor therapies. However, future studies are needed to elucidate physiologic mechanisms of decreased venous conspicuity in sickle cell disease.

PMID:
24263696
PMCID:
PMC4024339
DOI:
10.3174/ajnr.A3794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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