Non-invasive visualization of basilar artery perforators with 7T MR angiography

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Sep;32(3):544-50. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22250.


Purpose: To visualize the perforating arteries originating from basilar artery (BA) by using ultra-high resolution 7T MR angiography (MRA) and optimizing MR parameters as well as radio frequency (RF) coils, which may provide important information for neurosurgery and understanding diseases of the pons, but was unable to clearly visualize with conventional MRA techniques.

Materials and methods: Seven healthy volunteers (five males and two females, age [mean +/- SD] = 28.71 +/- 7.54 years) were scanned using optimized MR parameters to obtain images of pontine arteries (PAs) originating from the main trunk of BA. Two different volume coils and a phased array coil were designed and compared for this study. The images obtained at 7T MRA were compared with those at 1.5T and 3T MRA.

Results: The results showed that PA imaging at 7T MRI consistently provided clearly identifiable vessels, which were difficult to visualize in MR angiograms obtained at 1.5T and 3T MRIs. Volume RF coils had higher sensitivity for the center of the brain, which enhanced PA imaging compared to phased array coil. The average number of PA branches in all seven subjects observable by 7T MRA was 7.14 +/- 2.79, and the visualized PA branches were found to mainly propagating on the surface of the pons.

Conclusion: We have demonstrated that ultra-high resolution 7T MRA could delineate the PAs using optimized imaging parameters and volume RF coils compared to commercially available 1.5T and 3T MRIs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basilar Artery / anatomy & histology*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Reference Values
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • Contrast Media