Aims: The advent of three-dimensional (3D) rotational angiography (3D DSA) challenged the role of digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as a "gold standard" in the diagnosis of intracranial aneurysms. In this study, we report our experiences in diagnosing intracranial aneurysms by using 3D DSA with volume rendering (VR) technique, particularly focusing on its role in depicting additional aneurysms missed by 2D DSA.
Materials and methods: One hundred and thirty-eight consecutive patients with known or suspected aneurysms (54 men, 84 women; median age, 55 years; age range, 18-83 years) underwent both conventional DSA and 3D DSA with VR examination simultaneously. The images of 2D DSA or 3D DSA with VR were evaluated by two observers independently for the presence of aneurysms. Then additional aneurysms were decided and depicted.
Results: 3D DSA with VR showed 146 aneurysms in 123 (89.1%) of 138 patients and no aneurysms in 15 patients. 2D DSA showed 115 aneurysms in 110 of 137 patients, with one aneurysm in 106 patients each, 2 in 3 patients each and 3 in 1 patient. After reaching a consensus, there were 31 additional aneurysms detected by 3D DSA with VR. 30 aneurysms were <3 mm in maximum diameter with 3 aneurysms ruptured. These additional aneurysms were located in internal carotid artery (ICA, n = 28, 90.32%), anterior cerebral artery (ACA, n = 3, 9.68%). No additional aneurysms were found in either middle cerebral artery (MCA) or vertebrobasilar and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) systems.
Conclusions: 3D DSA, especially VR images, not only clearly reveals aneurysms and aneurysmal morphology, but also detects additional aneurysms missed by 2D DSA, especially small aneurysms less than 3 mm.