MRI and MRA for diagnosis and follow-up of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT)

Clin Radiol. 1997 Sep;52(9):672-9. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(97)80030-x.


Objective: To assess the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) in the diagnosis and the follow-up of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). To describe MRI and MRA features in CVT.

Material and methods: The clinical and neuroradiological studies of 20 patients with proven CVT were reviewed. All patients underwent computed tomography (CT), MRI (with MRA for 15 patients) and digital substraction angiography (DSA). Eleven patients had follow-up after treatment with MRI (nine with MRA).

Results: MRI and MRA together provided the diagnosis of CVT in all cases. The sensitivity of MRI alone was 90%. MRA showed abnormalities in all cases of CVT. Progressive sinus recanalization was demonstrated by follow-up with MRI and MRA at least 15 days after diagnosis and treatment.

Conclusion: In most of cases, the combination of MRI and MRA is sufficient to allow diagnosis of CVT and obviates the need for invasive angiography. MR studies are also useful for the follow-up of CVT.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / etiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed