Follow-up assessment of coiled intracranial aneurysms using zTE MRA as compared with TOF MRA: a preliminary image quality study

Eur Radiol. 2017 Oct;27(10):4271-4280. doi: 10.1007/s00330-017-4794-z. Epub 2017 Apr 5.


Objectives: To prospectively assess coiled intracranial aneurysms using a novel non-contrast enhanced zero echo time (zTE) MR angiography (MRA) method, and compare its image quality with time-of-flight (TOF) MRA, using digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as reference.

Methods: Twenty-five patients (10 males and 15 females; age 53.96 ± 12.46 years) were enrolled in this monocentric study. MRA sequences were performed 24 h before DSA. Susceptibility artefact intensity and flow signal within the parent artery were carried out using a 4-point scale. Occlusion status was assessed using the 3-grade Montreal scale.

Results: Scores of zTE were higher than TOF for both susceptibility artefact intensity (3.42 ± 0.64, 2.92 ± 0.63, P = 0.01) and flow signal (3.66 ± 0.95, 3.24 ± 1.24, P = 0.01). DSA revealed 17 complete occlusions, five residual neck aneurysms and two residual aneurysms. Inter-observer agreement was excellent (weighted κ: 0.89) for zTE and good (weighted κ: 0.68) for TOF. Intermodality agreement was excellent for zTE (weighted κ: 0.95) and good for TOF (weighted κ: 0.80). Correlations of both MRA sequences with DSA were high (zTE, Spearman's ρ: 0.91; TOF, Spearman's ρ: 0.81).

Conclusions: zTE MRA showed promising results for follow-up assessment of coiled intracranial aneurysms and was superior to TOF MRA for visualizing the parent artery and evaluating occlusion status.

Key points: • Various MRA sequences were applied for follow-up assessment of coiled intracranial aneurysms. • zTE MRA was less sensitive to susceptibility artefacts and haemodynamics. • In this monocentric study, zTE MRA was equivalent to DSA. • zTE MRA maybe an alternative to TOF MRA for follow-up assessment.

Keywords: Arterial spin labelling; Coiling; DSA; Intracranial aneurysm; MRA.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction / methods
  • Artifacts
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spin Labels


  • Spin Labels