Imaging of the intracranial venous system with a contrast-enhanced volumetric interpolated examination

Eur Radiol. 2003 May;13(5):1010-8. doi: 10.1007/s00330-002-1714-6. Epub 2002 Nov 8.


A contrast-enhanced interpolated, three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo MR sequence with asymmetric k-space sampling, which we refer to as volumetric interpolated brain examination (VIBE), was evaluated for its depiction of the normal intracranial venous system and compared with two-dimensional (2D) time-of-flight (TOF) MR venography (MRV). Fifteen subjects underwent contrast-enhanced VIBE imaging (TR/TE 8 ms/4.4 ms, flip angle 18 degrees, acquisition time, 2 min 20 s, voxel size approximately 1.5 mm(3)) and standard 2D TOF MRV (TR/TE 27 ms/9 ms, flip angle 35 degrees ). The presence of 19 venous structures per subject was assessed on maximum intensity projections (MIP) of the whole data set (whole-brain MIP) and on MIP images reconstructed spontaneously from source images (interactive MIP/source images). Results from a consensus reading where all imaging techniques and display modalities were available were taken as the standard of reference for the presence of venous structures. In addition, 10 subjects underwent both unenhanced and enhanced VIBE imaging. The value of subtracted data sets (unenhanced VIBE subtracted from enhanced VIBE) was then evaluated. Overall, VIBE provided a superior visualization of the cerebral veins than 2D TOF MRV (VIBE, sensitivity (reader 1/reader 2): 98%/99%, negative predictive value 64%/71%; TOF sensitivity: 85%/84%, negative predictive value 15%/15%; Wilcoxon signed-rank test VIBE vs TOF, p<0.001 for both readers). The VIBE interactive MIP/source images were superior to whole-brain MIP reconstructions. Image subtraction was not necessary for delineation of venous structures but improved small vein conspicuity. Contrast-enhanced VIBE acquisitions are faster and enable a visualization of the normal intracranial venous system superior to that of 2D TOF MRV.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Contrast Media*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media