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High-resolution venography of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging

J. Reichenbach, M. Essig, E. Haacke, B. Lee, C. Przetak, W. Kaiser and L. Schad

Magn Reson Mater Phy, 6 (1), pp.62-69

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a non-flow related magnetic resonance imaging method to visualize small veins independent of arteries in the human brain. A long TE, high-resolution 3D gradient echo MR acquisition was used to highlight venous information. The method is based on the paramagnetic property of deoxyhemoglobin and the resulting phase difference between veins and brain parenchyma at long echo times. The MR magnitude images were masked with a phase mask filter to enhance small structure visibility. Venous information down to sub-pixel vessel diameters of several hundred microns is visible. Venous data are displayed in an angiographic manner using a minimum intensity projection algorithm. Both superficial veins and deep white matter veins are visible. The method has been successfully applied in volunteers. Preliminary results in patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations indicate its potential in clinical applications. The proposed method is easy to implement and does not require administration of a contrast agent or application of specially designed rf pulses to highlight the veins. Rather it exploits the intrinsic magnetic properties (BOLD-effect) and the prolonged T2* of venous blood. The method may be of diagnostic potential in the assessment of arteriovenous malformations or other vascular venous lesions.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 14.01.2019
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