Phase-contrast MR angiography of vascular malformations of the spinal cord at 0.5 T

J Magn Reson Imaging. 1992 Nov-Dec;2(6):631-6. doi: 10.1002/jmri.1880020605.


Preliminary experience with phase-contrast magnetic resonance (MR) angiography at 0.5 T applied in 12 cases of vascular malformations of the spinal cord is reported. There were six intramedullary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), four perimedullary fistulas, and two dural arteriovenous fistulas with perimedullary drainage, all proved with x-ray angiography. The small size of the vessels and their location within a bony structure presented a technical challenge. Serpentine vascular signal patterns were identified within the spinal canal in all cases, showing good correlation with the x-ray angiographic pattern. Relative to spin-echo images, MR angiograms allowed better visualization of the venous drainage. The nidus of intramedullary AVMs was more difficult to recognize. The ability to manipulate the velocity-encoding value allows better characterization of flow speed. The results underline the two dimensions of the phase-contrast technique, which provides both anatomic images and dynamic information about vascular malformations. MR angiography does not replace selective x-ray angiography, which is indispensable for therapeutic strategy (endovascular procedure or surgery), but it can be considered a valuable alternative to x-ray angiography during follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / diagnosis*
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis*