Three-dimensional time-of-flight MR angiography in the evaluation of cerebral aneurysms

J Comput Assist Tomogr. Nov-Dec 1990;14(6):874-81. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199011000-00002.


We review our preliminary experience with the use of three-dimensional (3D) time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography (MRA) in the assessment of intra- and extracranial aneurysms. Six patients were examined: Five had intracranial aneurysms and one had a cervical carotid pseudoaneurysm. A 3D rephased gradient recalled echo pulse sequence and maximum intensity projection (MIP) reconstruction algorithm were used. Magnetic resonance angiography, spin echo MR, and conventional angiography were retrospectively reviewed with specific regard to individual vessel visualization, aneurysm depiction, and presence of artifact related to acquisition techniques or MIP reconstruction. All aneurysms were detected on MRA, and anatomical correlation with conventional angiography was excellent. Significant problems included loss of visualization of small vessels, intraluminal signal loss in large vessels, subacute thrombus simulating flow on MIP reconstructions, and limited projections obtainable with MIP techniques. Adequate MRA assessment of aneurysms can be obtained using a combination of T1-weighted spin echo images and 3D TOF MRA. Review of all components of the MRA is required. MRA may be useful in screening asymptomatic patients for intracranial aneurysms as well as in the follow-up of patients treated with balloon occlusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged