BACKGROUNDANDPURPOSE: 3D high-resolution black-blood MRI orMRvessel wall imaging allows evaluation of the intracranial arterial wall and extraluminal pathology. We investigated the diagnostic accuracy and reliability of black-blood MRI for the intraluminal detection of large-vessel arterial occlusions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively identified patients with intracranial arterial occlusions, confirmed by CTA or DSA, who also underwent 3D black-blood MRI with nonenhanced and contrast-enhanced T1 sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts by using different flip angle evolution (T1 SPACE) sequences. Black-blood MRI findings were evaluated by 2 independent and blinded neuroradiologists. Large-vessel intracranial arterial segments were graded on a 3-point scale (grades 0-2) for intraluminal baseline T1 hyperintensity and contrast enhancement. Vessel segments were considered positive for arterial occlusion if focal weak (grade 1) or strong (grade 2) T1-hyperintense signal and/or enhancement replaced the normal intraluminal black-blood signal. RESULTS: Thirty-one patients with 38 intracranial arterial occlusions were studied. The median time interval between black-blood MRI and CTA/DSA reference standard studies was 2 days (range, 0-20 days). Interobserver agreement was good for T1 hyperintensity (κ=0.63) and excellent for contrast enhancement (κ = 0.89). High sensitivity (100%) and specificity (99.8%) for intracranial arterial occlusion diagnosis was observed with either intraluminal T1 hyperintensity or contrast-enhancement imaging criteria on black-blood MRI. Strong grade 2 intraluminal enhancement was maintained in-80% of occlusions irrespective of location or chronicity. Relatively increased strong grade 2 intraluminal T1 hyperintensity was noted in chronic/incidental versus acute/subacute occlusions (45.5% versus 12.5%, P = .04). CONCLUSIONS: Black-blood MRI with or without contrast has high diagnostic accuracy and reliability in evaluating intracranial largevessel arterial occlusions with near-equivalency to DSA and CTA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology