Noncontrast dynamic MRA in intracranial arteriovenous malformation (AVM), comparison with time of flight (TOF) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA)

Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Jul;30(6):869-77. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2012.02.027. Epub 2012 Apr 20.


Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) remains the gold standard to diagnose intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) but is invasive. Existing magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is suboptimal for assessing the hemodynamics of AVMs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of a novel noncontrast four-dimensional (4D) dynamic MRA (dMRA) in the evaluation of intracranial AVMs through comparison with DSA and time-of-flight (TOF) MRA. Nineteen patients (12 women, mean age 26.2±10.7 years) with intracranial AVMs were examined with 4D dMRA, TOF and DSA. Spetzler-Martin grading scale was evaluated using each of the above three methods independently by two raters. Diagnostic confidence scores for three components of AVMs (feeding artery, nidus and draining vein) were also rated. Kendall's coefficient of concordance was calculated to evaluate the reliability between two raters within each modality (dMRA, TOF, TOF plus dMRA). The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was applied to compare the diagnostic confidence scores between each pair of the three modalities. dMRA was able to detect 16 out of 19 AVMs, and the ratings of AVM size and location matched those of DSA. The diagnostic confidence scores by dMRA were adequate for nidus (3.5/5), moderate for feeding arteries (2.5/5) and poor for draining veins (1.5/5). The hemodynamic information provided by dMRA improved diagnostic confidence scores by TOF MRA. As a completely noninvasive method, 4D dMRA offers hemodynamic information with a temporal resolution of 50-100 ms for the evaluation of AVMs and can complement existing methods such as DSA and TOF MRA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male