MR angiography of the intracranial venous system

Radiology. 2000 Mar;214(3):678-82. doi: 10.1148/radiology.214.3.r00mr41678.


Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of different imaging planes at time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and phase-contrast MR angiography in the visualization of the normal intracranial venous system.

Materials and methods: In 12 healthy volunteers, two-dimensional (2D) TOF MR angiography and three-dimensional (3D) phase-contrast MR angiography were performed in transverse, sagittal, and coronal planes. All data were displayed as maximum intensity projection (MIP) images. Four neuroradiologists assessed the visibility of 28 intracranial venous structures on the MIP images. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Friedman two-way analysis of variance and the Cochran Q test.

Results: Visualization of the normal intracranial venous system was better with 3D phase-contrast and coronal 2D TOF MR angiography than with transverse or sagittal 2D TOF MR angiography (P < .05, Friedman test) for each observer and the group of observers. Differences were found between each of the 2D TOF and 3D phase-contrast MR angiographic sequences in the visualization of individual venous structures (Cochran Q test). The kappa values ranged from 0.36 to 0.71, which indicated a moderate to good agreement between observers.

Conclusion: The normal intracranial venous system is adequately visualized with 3D phase-contrast and coronal 2D TOF MR angiography.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Cerebral Veins / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Reference Values
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity