Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography of the carotid circulation

Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2001 Oct;12(5):349-57. doi: 10.1097/00002142-200110000-00005.


Contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE MR angiography) is rapidly becoming the investigation of first choice for evaluating disease of the vascular system. It is particularly applicable to the carotid circulation and has replaced more traditional time-of-flight imaging because of shorter acquisition times and fewer artifacts. With recent advances in gradient hardware, shorter repetition times allow high spatial resolution imaging of the entire carotid circulation form the aortic arch to the circle of Willis in less than 20 seconds. Additional acquisitions can be utilized as part of the same study to accurately time the arrival of contrast in the arterial system and overcome the problem of early venous enhancement. A number of techniques have been developed recently that allow CE MR angiography to be implemented with high temporal resolution. Both atherosclerotic and nonatherosclerotic carotid artery disease can be comprehensively assessed with CE MR angiography, preventing the need for conventional diagnostic angiography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA