Intracranial magnetic resonance angiography

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. Jan-Feb 1992;15(1):71-81. doi: 10.1007/BF02733902.


Intraarterial angiography remains the "gold standard" for the evaluation of the intracranial vasculature, but it carries with it the risks of local vascular damage, systemic reactions, transient neurologic deficits, permanent neurologic compromise, and even death. To date, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) has been applied to a variety of different manifestations of intracranial vascular disease. Presently, MRA studies and flow measurement techniques serve to compliment the more traditional spin-echo evaluation of patients with small aneurysms, arterial and venous occlusions, vascular malformations, and in some cases of neoplastic vascular invasion. Practically, the limitations of these techniques must be taken into account such that the appropriate method is applied to answer a specific clinical question and the acquisition parameters are chosen to maximize the sensitivity and specificity of the study. The intent of this review is to summarize the technical approaches, clinical role, pitfalls, and potential improvements in the MRA techniques as they apply to the intracranial circulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnosis
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnostic imaging