Cerebral MR venography in children: comparison of 2D time-of-flight and gadolinium-enhanced 3D gradient-echo techniques

Radiology. 2005 Jun;235(3):1011-7. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2353041427. Epub 2005 Apr 28.


Purpose: To prospectively compare two-dimensional (2D) time-of-flight cerebral magnetic resonance (MR) venography with gadolinium-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo cerebral MR venography in children.

Materials and methods: This investigation had investigational review board approval and was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant; parental informed consent was obtained. Thirty-seven patients (20 boys, 17 girls) who ranged in age from 4 days to 15 years underwent 2D and 3D MR venography. Two pediatric neuroradiologists compared the visibility of the superior sagittal, straight, transverse, and sigmoid sinuses and the internal jugular veins on images obtained with the two sequences.

Results: In 17 (46%) of the 37 patients, the sequences were equivalent in terms of their depiction of venous anatomy. In 19 (51%) of the 37 patients, 3D MR venography was superior to 2D MR venography. Suboptimal enhancement of veins occurred in one (3%) patient at 3D MR venography. Venous anomalies suggested at 2D MR venography but not present at 3D MR venography included flow gaps in the nondominant transverse sinuses of four patients, unilateral transverse sinus atresia in eight, and a narrowed superior sagittal sinus in two. Two-dimensional MR venography results failed to reveal a persistent falcine sinus associated with straight sinus atresia in one patient and suggested transverse sinus thrombosis in two patients in whom 3D MR venography results were normal. Additionally, the extent of dural thrombosis was overestimated at 2D MR venography in one patient. As compared with 3D MR venography, 2D MR venography failed to reveal sigmoid sinus stenosis in one patient and poorly depicted posterior fossa dural sinus anatomy in two patients with dural arteriovenous fistula.

Conclusion: Three-dimensional MR venography is often superior to 2D MR venography in the delineation of major cerebral venous structures in children. Most of the artifactual loss of vascular signal seen with the use of 2D MR venography occurred in nondominant transverse sinuses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Veins / pathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contrast Media*
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Phlebography / methods
  • Prospective Studies


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA