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Objective: To assess the adjunct value of high-resolution black-blood vessel wall MR (VW-MR) imaging in the
context of ischemic stroke and other vascular diseases in the clinical practice.
Methods: All patients with vascular abnormalities underwent MR on a 3T system. In addition to the conventional
clinical scans, VW-MR imaging was performed by the volume isotropic turbo spin-echo acquisition (VISTA).
Typical imaging parameters were: isotropic voxel size 0.35 × 0.35 × 0.35 mm3. VW-MR findings in adjunction to
MR angiography were reviewed by two neuroradiologists and presented as case series to compare with the final
diagnosis based on the clinical data.
Results: 14 patients were recruited within 12 months, among which 12 completed MR scans. The final diagnoses
included 6 cases of atherosclerotic plaque, 4 cases of aneurysm, 1 case of Takayasu vasculitis, and 1 case dissection. In
general, VW-MR imaging before and after gadolinium allowed successful detection of vasculitis with circumferential
smooth and thick enhancement, as well as active plaque with eccentric enhancement. Reasonable interpretation could
be made for clot and thrombus with careful inspection of the clinical context. Signal void artifact could be observed
in post coiling and stent placement arteries. Dark signal was also demonstrated in heavily calcified aneurysmal wall.
Conclusion: Despite relatively small sample size, our preliminary study has demonstrated the useful adjunct
information provided by VW-MR imaging for diagnosis and characterization of intracranial vascular diseases
in the clinical practice. Pitfalls should be aware in certain cases and large cohort clinical studies are warranted to
further evaluate its clinical value.
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