Preoperative evaluation of venous systems with 3-dimensional contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance venography in brain tumors: comparison with time-of-flight magnetic resonance venography and digital subtraction angiography

Surg Neurol. 2005 Aug;64(2):128-33; discussion 133-4. doi: 10.1016/j.surneu.2004.10.029.


Background: Recent developments in magnetic resonance (MR) technology now enable the use of MR venography, providing 3-dimensional (3D) images of intracranial venous structures. The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of 3D contrast-enhanced MR venography (CE MRV) in the evaluation of intracranial venous system for surgical planning of brain tumors.

Methods: Forty patients underwent 3D CE MRV, as well as 25 patients, 2-dimensional (2D) time-of-flight (TOF) MR venography in axial and sagittal planes; and 10 patients, digital subtraction angiography. We determined the number of visualized sinuses and cortical veins. Degree of visualization of the intracranial venous system on 3D CE MRV was compared with that of 2D TOF MR venography and digital subtraction angiography as a standard. We also assessed the value of 3D CE MRV in the investigation of sinus occlusion or localization of cortical draining veins preoperatively.

Results: Superficial cortical veins and the dural sinus were better visualized on 3D CE MRV than on 2D TOF MR venography. Both MR venographic techniques visualized superior sagittal sinus, lateral sinus, sigmoid sinus, straight sinus, and internal cerebral vein and provided more detailed information by showing obstructed sinuses in brain tumors. Only 3D CE MRV showed superficial cortical draining veins. However, it was difficult to accurately evaluate the presence of cortical collateral venous drainage.

Conclusion: Although we do not yet advocate MR venography to replace conventional angiography as the imaging standard for brain tumors, 3D CE MRV can be regarded as a valuable diagnostic method just in evaluating the status of major sinuses and localization of the cortical draining veins.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Child
  • Cranial Sinuses / diagnostic imaging
  • Cranial Sinuses / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Phlebography / methods
  • Preoperative Care
  • Sensitivity and Specificity