Determination of cerebral blood flow with a phase-contrast cine MR imaging technique: evaluation of normal subjects and patients with arteriovenous malformations

Radiology. 1992 Feb;182(2):467-76. doi: 10.1148/radiology.182.2.1732966.


This study evaluated a phase-contrast cine magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technique capable of simultaneously allowing determination of velocity and volume flow rate (VFR) in both carotid arteries and the basilar artery. Forty patients were studied; 24 were neurologically normal, and 16 had intracerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). In the normal group, mean basilar flow was significantly less than mean carotid flow. Mean velocity and VFR showed a significant decline with age in the basilar artery. Carotid artery flow and total cerebral blood flow did not decline with age. In the AVM patients, flow and velocity measurements were significantly elevated in all three arteries. Flow in the carotid artery ipsilateral to the AVM was significantly greater than flow in the contralateral carotid artery. VFR increased in all three arteries with increasing AVM volume. Four patients underwent partial embolization, and a corresponding decrease in flow was observed. Phase-contrast cine MR imaging provides rapid, simultaneous, noninvasive velocity and VFR measurement in the major intracranial arteries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged