Background and purpose: To investigate the frequency and characteristics of developmental venous anomaly (DVA)-associated perfusion abnormalities on arterial spin labeling (ASL) and bolus perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) and discuss their potential causes.
Methods: We reviewed brain MR reports to identify all DVAs reported on studies performed between 2009 and 2012. DVA location and findings on PWI and/or ASL imaging were assessed by visual inspection. Sizes of DVAs were categorized as small (<15 mm), medium (15-25 mm), and large (>25 mm). For ASL, signal in the DVA, surrounding parenchyma, or associated draining vein was recorded. For PWI, changes on hemodynamic maps (cerebral blood volume [CBV], cerebral blood flow [CBF], mean transit time [MTT], and normalized time-to-peak of the residue function [Tmax]) were evaluated. Coexisting vascular malformations in association with DVAs were also identified.
Results: Six hundred and fifty-two DVAs were identified in 632 subjects. Of these, 121 underwent both perfusion modalities, 15 only PWI, and 127 only ASL. ASL abnormalities were seen in 21/248 (8%), including signal in a draining vein (2/21, 10%), in the DVA (11/21, 52%), and in the parenchyma (8/21, 38%). On PWI, the majority of DVAs demonstrated abnormalities (108/136, 79%), typically increased CBF, CBV, MTT, and Tmax. There was no association between DVA size and presence of ASL signal (P = .836). Borderline statistical significance was found between DVA size and presence of PWI abnormality (P = .046). No relationship was found between the presence of a coexisting vascular malformation and presence of ASL (P = .468) or PWI abnormality (P = .745).
Conclusions: Perfusion changes with DVAs are common on PWI but uncommon on ASL. PWI findings are expected based on the anatomy and physiology of DVAs and are accentuated by gradient echo acquisition. DVAs with intrinsic ASL signal or signal in draining veins may be associated with arteriovenous shunting (transitional lesions).
Keywords: DVA; arterial spin labeling; bolus perfusion-weighted imaging; developmental venous anomaly; dynamic susceptibility contrast.
Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Neuroimaging.