Intra- and Extracranial MR Venography: Technical Notes, Clinical Application, and Imaging Development

Behav Neurol. 2016;2016:2694504. doi: 10.1155/2016/2694504. Epub 2016 May 31.

Abstract

Scientific debate over chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) has drawn attention to venous system involvement in a series of pathologic brain conditions. In the last few decades, the MRI venography (MRV) field has developed a number of valuable sequences to better investigate structural anatomy, vessel patency, and flow characteristics of venous drainage in the intra- and extracranial systems. A brief two-tier protocol is proposed to encompass the study of intra- and extracranial venous drainage with and without contrast administration, respectively. Contrast-enhanced protocol is based on time-resolved contrast-enhanced MRV of the whole region plus extracranial flow quantification through 2D Cine phase contrast (PC); non-contrast-enhanced protocol includes intracranial 3D PC, extracranial 2D time of flight (TOF), and 2D Cine PC flow quantification. Total scanning time is reasonable for clinical applications: approximately seven minutes is allocated for the contrast protocol (most of which is due to 2D Cine PC), while the noncontrast protocol accounts for around twenty minutes. We believe that a short though exhaustive MRI scan of the whole intra- and extracranial venous drainage system can be valuable for a variety of pathologic conditions, given the possible venous implication in several neurological conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Phlebography / methods
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging*