Gadolinium-enhanced 3D MR angiography of renal artery stenosis: A pilot comparison of maximum intensity projection, multiplanar reformatting, and 3D volume-rendering postprocessing algorithms

Visveshwar Baskaran, F. Scott Pereles, Albert A Nemcek Jr, James Carr, Frank H Miller, John Ly, Elizabeth Krupinski, J. Paul Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. The authors compared diagnostic accuracy of maximum intensity projection (MIP), multiplanar reformatting (MPR), and three-dimensional (3D) volume rendering (VR) in the evaluation of gadolinium-enhanced 3D magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of the renal arteries. They hypothesized that VR is as accurate as or more accurate than MIP and MPR at depicting renal artery stenosis. Materials and Methods. The study group comprised 28 consecutive patients who underwent gadolinium-enhanced 3D MR angiography of the renal arteries. Studies were postprocessed to display images in MIP, MPR, and VR formats. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA), when performed (nine of 28 patients), was the standard for comparison. For each main renal artery, an estimate of percentage stenosis was made for any stenoses detected by three independent radiologists. For calculation of sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy, MR angiographic stenosis estimates were categorized as mild (0%-39%), moderate (40%-69%), or severe (≥70%). DSA stenosis estimates of 70% or greater were considered hemodynamically significant. Results. Analysis of variance demonstrated MIP estimates of stenosis were statistically greater than VR estimates in two readers and greater than MPR estimates in all readers for all patients. MIP images also showed the largest mean difference from DSA stenosis estimates for all three readers. For both VR and MPR, mean differences between MR angiographic stenoses estimates and DSA estimates reached significance for only one reader, whereas, for MIP versus DSA, mean differences reached significance for all three readers. Although not statistically significant compared with DSA, accuracies of VR (87%) and MPR (89%) were greater than that of MIP (81%). Conclusion. In this pilot study, MIP was the least accurate of the three image display algorithms tested. VR and MPR yielded similar values for each method of comparison.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Angiography, comparative studies
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), vascular studies
  • Renal arteries, magnetic resonance (MR)
  • Renal arteries, stenosis or obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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