News | January 29, 2007

MRA Highly Accurate in Detecting Blocked Arteries

January 30, 2007 - A novel type of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is reportedly highly accurate in identifying blockages in the arteries that carry blood to the brain, according to a study in the February issue of Radiology.

“Contrast-enhanced MR angiography provided highly accurate information about the supra-aortic arteries,” said Kambiz Nael, M.D., research fellow and radiology resident at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles . “MR angiography produced results comparable to the gold standard of digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and multidetector computed tomography (CT) angiography. In addition, this technology produced images with higher resolution over a larger field of view in a shorter amount of time than previous contrast-enhanced MR angiography techniques,” he said.

Arterial occlusive disease consists of narrowed or blocked arteries. It commonly affects the supra-aortic arteries, which supply blood to the brain, and is a leading cause of stroke. Currently DSA is the reference standard for evaluating these arteries. However, in 2.5 percent of cases DSA can cause a mini-stroke, and, in rare instances, permanent neurological damage. Therefore, CT and MR angiography are increasingly being used to diagnose arterial occlusive disease. As technology has improved, MR angiography offers advantages over CT, particularly because it delivers no ionizing radiation to the patient.

“MR angiography, using a small quantity of MRI dye injected into a vein in the arm, can produce detailed images of the arteries supplying the brain and can detect even minor degrees of narrowing or blockage. It does not involve exposure to x-rays and is widely regarded as a very safe, painless test,” Dr. Nael said.

The researchers studied 80 patients (44 men and 36 women) with suspected arterial occlusive disease to compare the performance of contrast-enhanced MR angiography to DSA and CT angiography. Two independent readers evaluated the images. Blockages were detected with MR angiography in 208 (reader 1) and 218 (reader 2) segments of artery, which correlated significantly to the DSA and CT findings. In addition, MR angiography proved highly accurate (94 to 100 percent) for detecting blockages of over 50 percent, and image quality was rated sufficient to excellent for 97 percent of the arterial segments evaluated.

“This procedure should be highly cost effective for clinical use, because of the speed and modest dose of contrast required,” Dr. Nael said. “In the absence of contraindications to MRI, I would recommend MR angiography over DSA and CTA for routine use—avoiding increased risk of mini-stroke and radiation exposure.”

Dr. Nael predicts that in most cases, contrast-enhanced MR angiography could replace other diagnostic techniques for evaluation of all the arteries that supply blood to the brain.

“As the technology evolves, MR angiography will likely become even faster and more powerful,” he said.

Source: Radiology, a monthly scientific journal devoted to clinical radiology and allied sciences. The journal is edited by Anthony V. Proto, M.D., School of Medicine , Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond , Va. Radiology is owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (RSNA.org/radiolgyjnl)

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is an association of more than 40,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to promoting excellence in radiology through education and by fostering research, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care. The Society is based in Oak Brook , Ill. (RSNA.org)

“MR Angiography of Supraaortic Arteries.” Collaborating with Dr. Nael were J. Pablo Villablanca, M.D., Whitney B. Pope, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas O. McNamara, M.D., Gerhard Laub, Ph.D., and J. Paul Finn, M.D.

Related Content

Houston Methodist Hospital Enters Multi-Year Technology and Research Agreement With Siemens Healthineers
News | Imaging | August 17, 2017
Houston Methodist Hospital and Siemens Healthineers have entered into a multi-year agreement to bring cutting-edge...
Carestream Launches MR Brain Perfusion and Diffusion Modules for Vue PACS
Technology | Advanced Visualization | August 16, 2017
Carestream Health recently introduced new MR (magnetic resonance) Brain Perfusion and MR Brain Diffusion modules that...
ISMRM Issues Guidelines for MRI Gadolinium Contrast Agents
News | Contrast Media | August 15, 2017
The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) has provided new guidance in the use of contrast...
MRI Reveals Striking Brain Differences in People with Genetic Autism

Example images for a control participant , a deletion carrier, and a duplication carrier. In the sagittal image of the deletion carrier, the thick corpus callosum, dens and craniocervical abnormality, and cerebellar ectopia are shown. For the duplication carrier, the sagittal image shows the thin corpus callosum and the axial image shows the increased ventricle size and decreased white matter volume. Image courtesy of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

News | Neuro Imaging | August 09, 2017
August 9, 2017 — In the first major study of its kind, researchers using magnetic...
GE Healthcare's Signa Premier MRI Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 04, 2017
GE Healthcare announced Signa Premier, a new wide bore 3.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, is now available...
brain with chronic traumatic injury
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 02, 2017
Fighters are exposed to repeated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which has been associated with neurodegenerative...
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 31, 2017
Elekta’s magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system will be the subject of 21 abstracts at the 59th American...
NIH-funded scientists have discovered that Parkinson’s disease increases the amount of “free” water in a particular brain area

NIH-funded scientists have discovered that Parkinson’s disease increases the amount of “free” water in a particular brain area. Image courtesy of David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., University of Florida.

News | Neuro Imaging | July 31, 2017
Scientists at the University of Florida have discovered a new method of observing the brain changes caused by Parkinson...
Overlay Init