Follow-up imaging of clipped intracranial aneurysms with 3-T MRI: comparison between 3D time-of-flight MR angiography and pointwise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition subtraction-based MR angiography

Jae Ho Kim MD1, Sung Jun Ahn MD, PhD2, Mina Park MD, PhD2, Yong Bae Kim MD, PhD1, Bio Joo MD2, Woosung Lee MD1, and Sang Hyun Suh MD, PhD2
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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; and
  • | 2 Department of Radiology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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OBJECTIVE

Metallic susceptibility artifact due to implanted clips is a major limitation of using 3D time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography (TOF-MRA) for follow-up imaging of clipped aneurysms (CAs). The purpose of this study was to compare pointwise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition (PETRA) subtraction-based MRA with TOF-MRA in terms of imaging quality and visibility of clip-adjacent arteries for use in follow-up imaging of CAs.

METHODS

Sixty-two patients with 73 CAs were included retrospectively in this comparative study. All patients underwent PETRA-MRA after TOF-MRA performed simultaneously with 3-T MRI between September 2019 and March 2020. Two neuroradiologists independently compared images obtained with both MRA modalities to evaluate overall image quality using a 4-point scale and visibility of the parent artery and branching vessels near the clips using a 3-point scale. Subgroup analysis was performed according to the number of clips (less-clipped [1–2 clips] vs more-clipped [≥ 3 clips] aneurysms). The ability to detect aneurysm recurrence was also assessed.

RESULTS

Compared with TOF-MRA, PETRA-MRA showed acceptable image quality (score of 3.97 ± 0.18 for TOF-MRA vs 3.73 ± 0.53 for PETRA-MRA) and had greater visibility of the adjacent vessels near the CAs (score of 1.25 ± 0.59 for TOF-MRA vs 2.27 ± 0.75 for PETRA-MRA, p < 0.0001). PETRA-MRA had greater visibility of vessels adjacent to less-clipped aneurysms (score of 2.39 ± 0.75 for less-clipped aneurysms vs 2.09 ± 0.72 for more-clipped aneurysms, p = 0.014). Of 73 CAs, aneurysm recurrence in 4 cases was detected using PETRA-MRA.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated that PETRA-MRA is superior to TOF-MRA for visualizing adjacent vessels near clips and can be an advantageous alternative to TOF-MRA for follow-up imaging of CAs.

ABBREVIATIONS

ACA = anterior cerebral artery; ACOM = anterior communicating artery; CA = clipped aneurysm; CTA = computed tomography angiography; DSA = digital subtraction angiography; ICA = internal carotid artery; MCA = middle cerebral artery; PA = parent artery; PETRA = pointwise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition; TOF-MRA = time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography.

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