Improved time-of-flight MR angiography of the brain with magnetization transfer contrast

Radiology. 1992 Aug;184(2):395-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.184.2.1620835.


The authors hypothesized that magnetization transfer contrast (MTC) could be used to improve flow contrast in time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography. Two- and three-dimensional flow-compensated gradient-echo images were obtained with and without MTC. MTC images were obtained by applying low-power radio-frequency (RF) radiation with a frequency offset from the bulk "free" water resonance frequency before the excitation RF pulse. The signal intensity of stationary tissue decreased as the power applied for the MTC pulse was increased. A smaller decrease occurred in venous signal intensity as measured in the superior sagittal sinus, and less change was seen in the arterial signal intensity as measured in the middle cerebral artery. Cerebrospinal fluid showed no MTC effect. The use of MTC improved small-vessel depiction on maximum-intensity projection images. The authors conclude that use of MTC can substantially enhance the quality of TOF MR angiography of the brain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebral Arteries / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Veins / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged