Three-dimensional volume rendering for magnetic resonance angiography in the screening and preoperative workup of intracranial aneurysms

J Neurosurg. 1996 Dec;85(6):1050-5. doi: 10.3171/jns.1996.85.6.1050.


This study was undertaken to evaluate the capacity of three-dimensional (3-D) time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography with VoxelView (VV) 3-D volume rendering to detect and characterize intracranial aneurysms and to compare this rendering technique with that of maximum intensity projection (MIP). Forty patients with a total of 53 intracranial aneurysms (10 giant and subgiant, 43 saccular) were consecutively admitted to University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland, and investigated with 3-D TOF MR angiography. Source images of the 43 saccular aneurysms were processed with both MIP and VV. The aneurysm detection rate of the two techniques and their ability to characterize features of an aneurysm, such as its neck and its relation to the parent vessel, were compared. Intraarterial digital subtraction angiography was used as the gold standard to which these techniques could be compared and evaluated. Four aneurysms, less than 3 mm in size, were missed using MIP compared to three missed using VV. The representation of aneurysmal morphology using VV was superior to that found using conventional angiography in nine cases, equal in 16 cases, and inferior in seven cases. The representation of the aneurysm neck using VV was superior to MIP in 21 cases, equal in 17 cases, and inferior in one case; it was superior to that shown using conventional angiography in 10 cases, equal in 18 cases, and inferior in four cases. Time-of-flight MR angiography in conjunction with both MIP and VV 3-D reconstruction was able to visualize all aneurysms that were larger than 3 mm. Compared to MIP, VV provides a better definition of the aneurysm neck and the morphology of saccular aneurysms, making VV valuable for use in a preoperative diagnostic workup.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged