The use of magnetic resonance angiography in stereotactic neurosurgery

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✓ The authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of magnetic resonance (MR) angiography images in stereotactic neurosurgery. Current computer programs designed to assist the neurosurgeon in the planning of stereotactic neurosurgical interventions use intraarterial digital subtraction angiography images to visualize the blood vessels. Magnetic resonance angiography is a recent technique with a number of advantages over the digital subtraction method: it is less invasive and less prone to complications; it provides truly three-dimensional data sets that can be viewed from any direction; and it can visualize both stationary and flowing tissues with the same imaging device and localizer frame. Although digital subtraction images are still superior in contrast and vascular detail, state-of-the-art high-resolution MR angiography sequences provide sufficient vascular detail for planning surgery. Contrast-enhanced MR angiography images were acquired using adapted gradient-echo sequences to compensate for flow-induced distortions; postacquisition distortion correction was not necessary. Five methods to integrate and inspect a possible trajectory in the MR angiography data are discussed. Initial clinical experience with eight patients led to the conclusion that MR angiography is a valuable imaging modality that can be integrated reliably into a stereotactic neurosurgery planning procedure.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Johan Michiels, M.Sc., Laboratory for Medical Imaging Research, University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, ESAT/Radiology, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
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