Time-resolved 3D quantitative flow MRI of the major intracranial vessels: initial experience and comparative evaluation at 1.5T and 3.0T in combination with parallel imaging

Magn Reson Med. 2007 Jan;57(1):127-40. doi: 10.1002/mrm.21109.


Exact knowledge of blood flow characteristics in the major cerebral vessels is of great relevance for diagnosing cerebrovascular abnormalities. This involves the assessment of hemodynamically critical areas as well as the derivation of biomechanical parameters such as wall shear stress and pressure gradients. A time-resolved, 3D phase-contrast (PC) MRI method using parallel imaging was implemented to measure blood flow in three dimensions at multiple instances over the cardiac cycle. The 4D velocity data obtained from 14 healthy volunteers were used to investigate dynamic blood flow with the use of multiplanar reformatting, 3D streamlines, and 4D particle tracing. In addition, the effects of magnetic field strength, parallel imaging, and temporal resolution on the data were investigated in a comparative evaluation at 1.5T and 3T using three different parallel imaging reduction factors and three different temporal resolutions in eight of the 14 subjects. Studies were consistently performed faster at 3T than at 1.5T because of better parallel imaging performance. A high temporal resolution (65 ms) was required to follow dynamic processes in the intracranial vessels. The 4D flow measurements provided a high degree of vascular conspicuity. Time-resolved streamline analysis provided features that have not been reported previously for the intracranial vasculature.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Cerebral Arteries / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Reference Values