Comparing magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and computed tomography angiography (CTA) with conventional angiography in the detection of distal territory cerebral mycotic and oncotic aneurysms

Interv Neuroradiol. 2016 Oct;22(5):524-8. doi: 10.1177/1591019916653247. Epub 2016 Jun 12.


Background: Mycotic and oncotic aneurysms may result in devastating neurologic sequelae if undetected. The objectives of this study were to examine interobserver variability and accuracy of cross-sectional imaging for the detection of distal territory mycotic and oncotic aneurysms.

Methods: We searched our institutional database for all radiology reports from 2005 to 2015 with an indication or diagnosis of mycotic or oncotic aneurysm. Patients who underwent DSA and either CTA or MRA within 12 weeks of each other were identified. The cross-sectional images from each study were blinded and reviewed by two radiologists. If positive for aneurysm, location and number of aneurysms were reported. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and interobserver variability were determined for MRA and MRA/CTA.

Results: Twenty-five patients were included in this study. Ten (40%) harbored distal aneurysms. Cross-sectional imaging had a sensitivity of 45.5%, specificity of 90.0%, and kappa value of 0.29 (0.00-0.69) for the detection of cerebral mycotic and oncotic aneurysms.

Conclusions: Because of the low sensitivity and high interobserver variability of cross-sectional imaging, DSA should remain the gold standard for evaluation of suspected oncotic and mycotic aneurysms. In cases in which cross sectional imaging is negative and there is a high clinical suspicion for mycotic aneurysm, DSA should be strongly considered.

Keywords: Aneurysm; angiography; mycotic; oncotic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm, Infected / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aneurysm, Infected / microbiology
  • Aneurysm, Infected / pathology
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Computed Tomography Angiography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / microbiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity