Intracranial arteriovenous malformations: quantitative analysis of magnitude contrast MR angiography versus gradient-echo MR imaging versus conventional angiography

Radiology. 1995 Jul;196(1):187-93. doi: 10.1148/radiology.196.1.7784565.


Purpose: To quantitatively analyze magnitude contrast (MC) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and gradient-echo (GRE) MR imaging for evaluation of persistent transnidal blood flow in intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of various sizes before or after stereotaxic radiosurgery.

Materials and methods: Thirty-three patients with AVMs underwent 42 MC MR angiographic (maximum intensity projection [MIP] and source imaging), GRE imaging with and without flow compensation, and conventional angiographic studies within 90 days of each other.

Results: For MIP, source, and GRE images, the sensitivities for detection of large AVMs (> 1 cm) were 95%, 100%, and 100%, respectively, and for small AVMs (< or = 1 cm) were 27%, 50%, and 67%, respectively. MC MR angiography and GRE imaging depicted all eight nidi that were completely thrombosed on conventional angiograms.

Conclusion: GRE imaging and MC MR angiography reliably depict AVMs larger than 1 cm. GRE is more sensitive for detection of small residual nidi (< 1 cm). Source images must be evaluated to accurately assess low-flow lesions. Neither GRE nor MR angiography is reliable for detection of mean nidus diameters less than 0.36 cm.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity