Does black blood MRA have a role in the assessment of intracerebral aneurysms?

Stavros M. Stivaros, Jonathan N. Harris, William Adams, Alan Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The aim of this study was to assess whether the addition of a black blood (BB) sequence to standard three-dimensional time-of-flight (3D-TOF) imaging yields improved quantitative assessment of intracranial aneurysms. Thirty seven patients with 42 proven intracranial aneurysms underwent intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography, 3D-TOF and BB MRI imaging. This multimodality imaging was used to create a composite reference aneurysm description. The 3D-TOF and BB imaging were graded on a subjective seven-point scale to determine what improvement if any the addition of BB imaging yielded. Comparison of measurements from all imaging modalities demonstrated no significant difference (p <0.01) in aneurysm length/width or parent vessel width. Aneurysm neck measurements were underestimated on 3D-TOF images although there was still a significant correlation (R2 = 0.72, p <0.05). Comparison of TOF and BB examinations to the composite reference using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed significant improvement in the demonstration of the aneurysm to parent/branch vessels and the morphology/size of the aneurysm neck, particularly in the setting of local haematoma or slow flow (p <0.001). We propose the addition of the BB sequence as a useful adjunct to 3D-TOF imaging particularly when detailed aneurysm morphology is required or there is thrombus in subarachnoid space. © European Society of Radiology 2008.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)184-192
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Radiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Aneurysm
    • Black blood
    • Cerebral
    • Magnetic resonance


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