Purpose: To determine if contrast-enhanced (CE) MRI of intracranial lesions benefits from time-resolved MR angiography (MRA) during contrast agent injection.
Materials and methods: For 126 patients with suspected intracranial lesions undergoing routine CE MRI at 3.0T (N = 88) or 1.5T (N = 38), time-resolved CE MRA (three-dimensional [3D] time-resolved imaging of contrast kinetics [TRICKS]) was performed during injection of the routine gadolinium (Gd) dose of 0.1 mmol/kg. Time to peak (TTP) enhancement of lesions as well as time to internal carotid artery (ICA), middle cerebral artery (MCA), superior sagittal sinus (SSS), and jugular vein enhancement were measured. Source and maximum intensity projection (MIP) images were reviewed to delineate the spatial relationship of lesions and the vasculature.
Results: In 61 patients (48%), additional important findings were detected on time-resolved MRA that were not seen on the routine CE protocol, including aneurysms (N = 6), arteriovenous malformations (N = 7), ICA stenoses (N = 2), vascular anomalies (N = 18), and relationships between lesions and vessels (N = 28). In addition, tumor TTP correlated with glioma grade (r = 0.87) and discriminated epithelial from nonepithelial meningiomas (P = 2.6 x 10(-5)). MRA added eight minutes to the total exam time.
Conclusion: Time-resolved MRA performed during contrast agent injection adds information to the routine brain CE MRI examination of intracranial lesions with only a small time penalty and no additional risk to the patient.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.