Outer-diameter narrowing of the internal carotid and middle cerebral arteries in moyamoya disease detected on 3D constructive interference in steady-state MR image: is arterial constrictive remodeling a major pathogenesis?

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2012 Dec;154(12):2151-7. doi: 10.1007/s00701-012-1472-4. Epub 2012 Aug 31.


Background: To obtain information on affected vessels in moyamoya disease (MMD), we analyzed the vascular morphological characteristics of MMD using three-dimensional (3D) constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Methods: The population of this 3D-CISS MRI study consisted of 51 patients with MMD: 16 patients with atherosclerotic middle cerebral artery (MCA) stenosis or occlusion, 42 MRI control patients, and 28 control digital subtraction angiography (DSA) patients. We measured the outer diameters of the terminal portion of the internal carotid artery (ICA) and the proximal portion of the MCA (M1 portion). We evaluated the inner diameter as the relative value (%) obtained from magnified DSA images and analyzed these data.

Results: The outer diameters of the ICA and M1 portions were significantly smaller in the MMD group than in the other two groups, while the M1 outer diameter of the atherosclerosis group was not significantly different compared to the control (ICA: MMD, 2.61 ± 0.46 mm vs. control, 4.04 ± 0.50 mm and M1: MMD, 1.92 ± 0.43 mm vs. control, 3.34 ± 0.54 mm vs. atherosclerosis, 3.45 ± 0.56 mm). Furthermore, in MMD patients, the outer diameter was unrelated to the progression of the luminal stenosis grade estimated by DSA.

Conclusions: This is the first report that the outer diameters of both the ICA and M1 decrease in MMD patients. Our findings suggest that the vascular constrictive changes of the affected arteries are an important phenomenon reflecting MMD pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction / methods
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / pathology*
  • Constriction, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Constriction, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology*
  • Moyamoya Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Moyamoya Disease / pathology*
  • Young Adult