Follow-up of coiled cerebral aneurysms at 3T: Comparison of 3D time-of-flight MR angiography and contrast-enhanced MR angiography

  • Anzalone N
  • Scomazzoni F
  • Cirillo M
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Our aim was to compare contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA) and 3D time-of-flight (TOF) MRA at 3T for follow-up of coiled cerebral aneurysms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-two patients treated with Guglielmi detachable coils for 54 cerebral aneurysms were evaluated at 3T MRA. 3D TOF MRA (TR/TE = 23/3.5; SENSE factor = 2.5) and CE-MRA by using a 3D ultrafast gradient-echo sequence (TR/TE = 5.9/1.8; SENSE factor = 3) enhanced with 0.1-mmol/kg gadobenate dimeglumine were performed in the same session. Source images, 3D maximum intensity projection, 3D shaded surface display, and/or 3D volume-rendered reconstructions were evaluated in terms of aneurysm occlusion/patency and artifact presence. RESULTS: In terms of clinical classification, the 2 MRA sequences were equivalent for 53 of the 54 treated aneurysms: 21 were considered fully occluded, whereas 16 were considered to have a residual neck and 16 were considered residually patent at follow-up MRA. The remaining aneurysm appeared fully occluded at TOF MRA but had a residual patent neck at CE-MRA. Visualization of residual aneurysm patency was significantly (P = .001) better with CE-MRA compared with TOF MRA for 10 (31.3%) of the 32 treated aneurysms considered residually patent with both sequences. Coil artifacts were present in 5 cases at TOF MRA but in none at CE-MRA. No relationship was apparent between the visualization of patency and either the size of the aneurysm or the interval between embolization and follow-up. CONCLUSION: At follow-up MRA at 3T, unenhanced TOF and CE-MRA sequences are similarly effective at classifying coiled aneurysms as occluded or residually patent. However, CE-MRA is superior to TOF MRA for visualization of residual patency and is associated with fewer artifacts.

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