Visualization of hemodynamics in intracranial arteries using time-resolved three-dimensional phase-contrast MRI

Shuhei Yamashita*, Haruo Isoda, Masaya Hirano, Hiroyasu Takeda, Shoichi Inagawa, Yasuo Takehara, Marcus T. Alley, Michael Markl, Norbert J. Pelc, Harumi Sakahara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Purpose: To visualize the hemodynamics of the intracranial arteries using time-resolved three-dimensional phase-contrast PC)-MRI (4D-Flow). Materials and Methods: MR examinations were performed with a 1.5T MR unit on six healthy volunteers (22-50 years old, average = 30 years). 4D-Flow was based on a radiofrequency (RF)-spoiled gradient-echo sequence, and velocity encoding (VENC) was performed along all three spatial directions. Measurements were retrospectively gated to the electrocardiogram (ECG), and cine series of three-dimensional (3D) data sets were generated. The voxel size was 1 × 1 × 1 mm, and acquisition time was 30-40 minutes. 4D data sets were calculated into time-resolved images of 3D streamlines, 3D particle traces, and 2D velocity vector fields by means of flow visualization software. Results: We were able to see the 3D streamlines from the circle of Willis to the bilateral M2 segment of the middle cerebral arteries (MCAs). Time-resolved images of 3D particle traces also clearly demonstrated intracranial arterial flow dynamics. 2D velocity vector fields on the planes traversing the carotid siphon or the basilar tip were clearly visualized. These results were obtained in all six volunteers. Conclusion: 4D-Flow helped to elucidate the in vivo 3D hemodynamics of human intracranial arteries. This method may be a useful noninvasive means of analyzing the hemodynamics of intracranial arteries in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Flow visualization
  • Hemodynamics
  • Intracranial arteries
  • MR imaging
  • Phase-contrast MR imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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