Three-dimensional computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance angiography of carotid bifurcation stenosis

Eur Neurol. 2001;46(1):25-34. doi: 10.1159/000050752.


Purpose: To evaluate the role of computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) in the quantification of atherosclerotic stenosis of carotid artery bifurcation in comparison with digital substraction angiography (DSA) and Doppler sonography (DS).

Materials and methods: Twenty-five patients with atherosclerotic disease of the carotid arteries with proven stenosis by DSA, had spiral CTA, MRA using two- and three-dimensional time-of-flight gradient echo techniques, and DS using Doppler flow signal recording (total 47 carotid artery bifurcations). The degree of stenosis was measured according to the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial criteria: total occlusion (100%), severe (70-99%), moderate (30-69%) and mild (0-29%). The degree of stenosis measured by CTA, MRA and DS was compared to DSA, used as the gold standard.

Results: Ninety-seven percent of MRA measures were equivalent to DSA, and 3% were underestimated; 96% of CTA measures were equivalent to DSA, and 4% were underestimated; 77% of DS measures were equivalent to DSA, 21% were overestimated and 2% were underestimated.

Conclusions: CTA and MRA are equally accurate methods in quantifying the degree of carotid bifurcation stenosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / pathology
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler