Insufficient slow-flow suppression mimicking aneurysm wall enhancement in magnetic resonance vessel wall imaging: a phantom study

Bart M.W. Cornelissen, Eva L. Leemans, Bram F. Coolen, Eva S. Peper, René van den Berg, Henk A. Marquering, Cornelis H. Slump, Charles B.L.M. Majoie

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    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: MR vessel wall imaging (VWI) is increasingly performed in clinical settings to support treatment decision-making regarding intracranial aneurysms. Aneurysm wall enhancement after contrast agent injection is expected to be related to aneurysm instability and rupture status. However, the authors hypothesize that slow-flow artifacts mimic aneurysm wall enhancement. Therefore, in this phantom study they assess the effect of slow flow on wall-like enhancement by using different MR VWI techniques. METHODS: The authors developed an MR-compatible aneurysm phantom model, which was connected to a pump to enable pulsatile inflow conditions. For VWI, 3D turbo spin echo sequences-both with and without motion-sensitized driven equilibrium (MSDE) and delay alternating with nutation for tailored excitation (DANTE) preparation pulses-were performed using a 3-T MR scanner. VWI was acquired both before and after Gd contrast agent administration by using two different pulsatile inflow conditions (2.5 ml/sec peak flow at 77 and 48 beats per minute). The intraluminal signal intensity along the aneurysm wall was analyzed to assess the performance of slow-flow suppression. RESULTS: The authors observed wall-like enhancement after contrast agent injection, especially in low pump rate settings. Preparation pulses, in particular the DANTE technique, improved the performance of slow-flow suppression. CONCLUSIONS: Near-wall slow flow mimics wall enhancement in VWI protocols. Therefore, VWI should be carefully interpreted. Preparation pulses improve slow-flow suppression, and therefore the authors encourage further development and clinical implementation of these techniques.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberE19
    Pages (from-to)E19
    JournalNeurosurgical Focus
    Volume47
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

    Keywords

    • bpm = beats per minute
    • DANTE = delay alternating with nutation for tailored excitation
    • intracranial aneurysms
    • MCA = middle cerebral artery
    • MSDE = motion-sensitized driven equilibrium
    • slow flow
    • TSE = turbo spin echo
    • VENC = velocity encoding
    • vessel wall imaging
    • VWI = vessel wall imaging
    • WSS = wall shear stress

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