Lenticulostriate arteries in chronic stroke patients visualised by 7 T magnetic resonance angiography

Int J Stroke. 2010 Oct;5(5):374-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2010.00464.x.


Background: Noninvasive magnetic resonance angiography using ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging has recently provided us with the potential to image cerebral microvascular structures such as the lenticulostriate arteries. However, most studies using ultra-high-field magnetic resonance angiography have been limited to the visualisation of microvessels in healthy subjects, and the direct comparison of patients with microvascular disease has not been reported.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the lenticulostriate arteries of patients with lacunar strokes of the basal ganglia and surrounding areas using 7 T magnetic resonance angiography.

Methods: Ten stroke patients who had infarctions in the basal ganglia and adjacent areas detected using T2(*)-weighted images obtained from a conventional 1·5 T magnetic resonance imaging and 10 age-matched healthy subjects were recruited for this study. The large main vessels in the patient group were inspected to identify abnormalities such as stenosis. The characteristics of the lenticulostriate arteries visualised by 7 T magnetic resonance angiography, such as the number of branches and stems, curvature and tortuosity were analysed and compared between the patient and the control groups.

Results: All patients had infarctions in the basal ganglia and adjacent regions, which were clearly determined by T2(*)-weighted images. However, there was no evidence of large-vessel abnormalities in the patient group. Analysis of 7 T magnetic resonance angiography data revealed that the overall number of lenticulostriate arteries branches in the patient group was significantly less than the control group (P=0·003). However, no statistical difference in the number of stems, curvature and tortuosity between the two groups was found (P=0·396, 0·258 and 0·888, respectively).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that noninvasive magnetic resonance angiography using 7 T magnetic resonance imaging can visualise abnormalities in the cerebral microvasculature of stroke patients, and that the number of lenticulostriate arteries supplying the region of the basal ganglia is less in these patients compared with age-matched controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteries / pathology*
  • Basal Ganglia / blood supply
  • Basal Ganglia / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / pathology*