MR Angiography at 3 Tesla to Assess Proximal Internal Carotid Artery Stenoses: Contrast-Enhanced or 3D Time-of-Flight MR Angiography?

Weber, J; Veith, P; Jung, Bernd; Ihorst, G; Moske-Eick, O; Meckel, S; Urbach, H; Taschner, C A (2015). MR Angiography at 3 Tesla to Assess Proximal Internal Carotid Artery Stenoses: Contrast-Enhanced or 3D Time-of-Flight MR Angiography? Clinical neuroradiology, 25(1), pp. 41-48. Springer 10.1007/s00062-013-0279-x

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PURPOSE The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of 3D time-of-flight (TOF-MRA) and contrast-enhanced (CE-MRA) magnetic resonance angiography at 3 T for detection and quantification of proximal high-grade stenosis using multidetector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA) as reference standard. METHODS The institutional ethics committee approved this prospective study. A total of 41 patients suspected of having internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis underwent both MDCTA and MRA. CE-MRA and TOF-MRA were performed using a 3.0-T imager with a dedicated eight-element cervical coil. ICA stenoses were measured according to the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial criteria and categorized as 0-25 % (minimal), 25-50 % (mild), 50-69 % (moderate), 70-99 % (high grade), and 100 % (occlusion). Sensitivity and specificity for the detection of high-grade ICA stenoses (70-99 %) and ICA occlusions were determined. In addition, intermodality agreement was assessed with κ-statistics for detection of high-grade ICA stenoses (70-99 %) and ICA occlusions. RESULTS A total of 80 carotid arteries of 41 patients were reviewed. Two previously stented ICAs were excluded from analysis. On MDCTA, 7 ICAs were occluded, 12 ICAs presented with and 63 without a high-grade ICA stenosis (70-99 %). For detecting 70-99 % stenosis, both 3D TOF-MRA and CE-MRA were 91.7 % sensitive and 98.5 % specific, respectively. Both MRA techniques were highly sensitive (100 %), and specific (CE-MRA, 100 %; TOF-MRA, 98.7 %) for the detection of ICA occlusion. However, TOF-MRA misclassified one high-grade stenosis as occlusion. Intermodality agreement for detection of 70-99 % ICA stenoses was excellent between TOF-MRA and CE-MRA [κ = 0.902, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.769-1.000], TOF-MRA and MDCTA (κ = 0.902, 95 % CI = 0.769-1.000), and CE-MRA and MDCTA (κ = 0.902, 95 % CI = 0.769-1.000). CONCLUSION Both 3D TOF-MRA and CE-MRA at 3 T are reliable tools for detecting high-grade proximal ICA stenoses (70-99 %). 3D TOF-MRA might misclassify pseudo-occlusions as complete occlusions. If there are no contraindications for CE-MRA, CE-MRA is recommended as primary MR imaging modality.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Jung, Bernd


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Aisha Stefania Mzinga

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2015 14:10

Last Modified:

05 Nov 2015 11:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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