Vessel size imaging in humans

Magn Reson Med. 2005 Mar;53(3):553-63. doi: 10.1002/mrm.20383.


The relation of contrast-enhanced transverse relaxation rates R2* and R2 provides in vivo mapping of the mean caliber of cerebral vessels. This technique is referred to as vessel size imaging (VSI). Here a quantitative assessment of the vessel caliber in brain tumor patients is presented. The obtained mean vessel size shows sensitivity to the tumor type. A theoretical analysis is given to elucidate the morphological information content of VSI in the context of vessel architecture. The simplification of the theory underlying the data processing results in a systematic overestimation of the vessel caliber. An increase in the magnetic susceptibility of the contrast agent allows for quantitatively more accurate measurements. Quantitative VSI must include measurements of the regional diffusion coefficient and absolute determination of the regional cerebral blood volume.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology
  • Cerebral Veins / pathology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Microcirculation / pathology


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA