Follow-up of intracranial aneurysms treated with detachable coils: comparison of gadolinium-enhanced 3D time-of-flight MR angiography and digital subtraction angiography

Radiology. 2001 Apr;219(1):108-13. doi: 10.1148/radiology.219.1.r01mr06108.


Purpose: To compare three-dimensional (3D) time-of-flight magnetic resonance (MR) angiography with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) in the follow-up of intracranial aneurysms treated with selective endovascular placement of detachable coils.

Materials and methods: Sixty-eight consecutive patients with intracranial aneurysms were included in the prospective study. The goal was to evaluate 3D time-of-flight MR angiography versus DSA for the detection of a residual aneurysm neck or residual flow inside the coil mesh.

Results: Eighty-one MR angiographic and 83 DSA examinations were performed; 15 patients were examined with both modalities twice. MR angiography was not possible in two patients. In another patient, the quality of MR angiography was not sufficient to assess the treated aneurysm. In 72 of the remaining 80 MR angiographic and DSA examinations, there was good correlation between the two modalities. In 54 cases, neither image type showed remnants or recurrence, but in 18, both showed residual aneurysm. In eight cases, the MR angiographic and DSA results differed. In one of these cases, MR angiography depicted residual aneurysm but DSA depicted an arterial loop. In seven cases, a small (<3-mm) remnant was not detected at MR angiography.

Conclusion: Because very small aneurysm remnants or recurrences probably are not clinically important, MR angiography is an option for following up intracranial aneurysms treated with detachable coils and may partly replace DSA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction*
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Gadolinium DTPA