Follow-up evaluation of dissecting aneurysms of the vertebrobasilar circulation by using gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging

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✓ The authors assessed the reliability of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging contrast enhancement for the detection and follow-up evaluation of dissecting aneurysms of the vertebrobasilar circulation. Twenty consecutively admitted patients who underwent both gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging and conventional angiography were reviewed. Enhancement of the dissecting aneurysm was seen in all but one of the 20 patients, including 10 (71%) of 14 patients examined in the chronic phases, when the T1-hyperintensity signal that corresponded to the intramural hematoma was unrecognizable. The enhanced area corresponded to the “pearl sign” or aneurysm dilation noted on the comparable angiogram. On follow-up MR studies enhancement had spontaneously disappeared in four patients at a time when comparable vertebral angiograms revealed disappearance of the aneurysm dilation. The enhancement persisted in five of nine patients examined more than 24 weeks after symptom onset; in all five patients the aneurysm dilation remained on comparable angiograms. Dynamic MR studies showed rapid and remarkable enhancements with their peaks during the immediate dynamic phase after injection of the contrast material. The authors conclude that gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging is useful for the detection and follow-up evaluation of dissecting aneurysms of the vertebrobasilar circulation.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Shinji Nagahiro, M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, The University of Tokushima, 3–18–15, Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima, 770 Japan.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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