Assessment of blood supply to intracranial pathologies in children using MR digital subtraction angiography

Pediatr Radiol. 2006 Oct;36(10):1057-62. doi: 10.1007/s00247-006-0268-1. Epub 2006 Aug 17.


Background: MR digital subtraction angiography (MR-DSA) is a contrast-enhanced MR angiographic sequence that enables time-resolved evaluation of the cerebral circulation.

Objective: We describe the feasibility and technical success of our attempts at MR-DSA for the assessment of intracranial pathology in children.

Materials and methods: We performed MR-DSA in 15 children (age range 5 days to 16 years) referred for MR imaging because of known or suspected intracranial pathology that required a dynamic assessment of the cerebral vasculature. MR-DSA consisted of a thick (6-10 mm) slice-selective RF-spoiled fast gradient-echo sequence (RF-FAST) acquired before and during passage of an intravenously administered bolus of Gd-DTPA. The images were subtracted and viewed as a cine loop.

Results: MR-DSA was performed successfully in all patients. High-flow lesions were shown in four patients; these included vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation, dural fistula, and two partially treated arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Low-flow lesions were seen in three patients, all of which were tumours. Normal flow was confirmed in eight patients including two with successfully treated AVMs, and in three patients with cavernomas.

Conclusion: Our early experience suggests that MR-DSA is a realistic, non-invasive alternative to catheter angiography in certain clinical settings.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction*
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contrast Media
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male


  • Contrast Media