Object. The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of high-field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging as a quantitative tool for estimating cerebral circulation in patients with moyamoya disease.
Methods. Eighteen patients with moyamoya disease who were scheduled to undergo revascularization surgery and 100 healthy volunteers were examined using T2-reversed MR imaging performed using a 3-tesla system. Ten of the 18 patients underwent a second study between 1 year and 3 years after revascularization. Magnetic resonance images obtained in the patients with moyamoya disease were statistically analyzed and compared with those obtained in healthy volunteers. The MR imaging findings were also correlated with results of single-photon emission computerized tomography and conventional cerebral angiography studies.
Transverse lines in the white matter (medullary streaks) were observed in almost all persons. In healthy volunteers, the diameter sizes of the medullary streaks increased significantly with age (p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age-adjusted medullary streak diameters were significantly larger in patients with moyamoya disease (p < 0.001). Diameter sizes also increased significantly with the increased severity of cerebral hypoperfusion (p < 0.001) and a higher angiographically determined stage of the disease (p < 0.001). Diameter sizes decreased significantly after surgery (p < 0.001).
Conclusions. The increases in medullary streak diameters observed in patients with moyamoya disease appear to represent vessels dilated due to cerebral hypoperfusion. High-field T2-reversed MR imaging is useful in estimating cerebral circulation in patients with moyamoya disease.