Comparison of image quality, diagnostic confidence and interobserver variability in contrast enhanced MR angiography and 2D time of flight angiography in evaluation of carotid stenosis

Br J Radiol. 2006 Mar;79(939):201-7. doi: 10.1259/bjr/72842752.


The aim of this study was to compare image quality, level of diagnostic confidence and interobserver agreement in assessment of carotid stenosis with contrast enhanced MR angiography (CE MRA) in comparison with 2D time of flight MR angiography (2D TOF MRA). 60 carotid arteries in 30 patients were examined by three observers. Image quality and diagnostic confidence were assessed on the basis of a visual analogue scale. Interobserver variability was assessed with the help of intraclass correlation coefficient. Median values on the visual analogue scale for image quality and diagnostic confidence were higher for CE MRA compared with 2D TOF MRA for all three observers. Higher intraclass correlation values were recorded for interobserver variability for CE MRA compared with 2D TOF MRA both for visual estimation of carotid stenosis as well as for measurement of carotid stenosis on the basis of North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) and European Carotid Surgery Trial (ECST) criteria. CE MRA provides better image quality, higher level of diagnostic confidence and more interobserver agreement compared with 2D TOF MRA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Carotid Artery, External*
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / standards*
  • Male
  • Observer Variation