In this methodological paper I report the stereotactic correlation of different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques [MR angiography (MRA), MRI, blood bolus tagging (STAR), functional MRI, and high-resolution BOLD venography (HRBV)] in patients with cerebral arterio-venous malformations (AVM) and brain tumors. The patient's head was fixed in a stereotactic localization system which is usable in both MR-systems and linear accelerator installations. Using phantom measurements global geometric MR image distortions can be 'corrected' (reducing displacements to the size of a pixel) by calculations based on modeling the distortion as a fourth-order two-dimensional polynomial. Further object-induced local distortions can be corrected by additionally measured field maps. Using this method multimodality matching could be performed automatically as long as all images are acquired in the same examination and the patient is sufficiently immobilized to allow precise definition of the target volume. Information about the hemodynamics of the AVM was provided by a dynamic MRA with the STAR technique, leading to an improved definition of the size of the nidus, the origin of the feeding arteries, whereas HRBV imaging yielded detailed and improved information about the venous pattern and drainage. In addition, functional MRI was performed in patients with lesions close to the primary motor cortex area, leading to an improved definition of structures at risk for the high-dose application in radiosurgery. In patients with brain tumors the potential of HRBV to probe tumor angiogenesis and its use in intensity-modulated treatment planning is still hampered by the open question of how to translate a BOLD signal pattern measured in the tumor to a dose distribution, which should be addressed in future studies.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.