Moyamoya vessel pathology imaged by ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging at 7.0 T


  • N.F. Dengler
  • V.I. Madai
  • J. Wuerfel
  • F.C. von Samson-Himmelstjerna
  • P. Dusek
  • T. Niendorf
  • J. Sobesky
  • P. Vajkoczy


  • Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases


  • J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 25 (6): 1544-1551


  • Background: Prompt diagnosis of vessel pathology and appropriate treatment of moyamoya vasculopathy (MMV) are essential to improve long-term prognosis. The aims of our study were to explore the diagnostic value of ultra–high-field (UHF) magnetic resonance imaging at 7.0 T in MMV patients and to compare the applicability of two different 7.0 T vessel imaging modalities to 3.0 T magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Methods: In a World Health Organization-registered and prospective imaging trial, patients were investigated at 7.0 T magnetization-prepared rapid-acquisition gradient echo (MPRAGE)-MRA and time-of-flight (TOF)-MRA, 3.0 T TOF-MRA, and by DSA. Results: Six patients were included in our study and evaluated for MMV. 3.0 T TOF-MRA and 7.0 T MPRAGE-MRA were able to depict the complete major vascular tree and confirmed MMV-specific steno-occlusions of major intracranial arteries, as previously identified by DSA. 7.0 T TOF-MRA was limited to visualization of the circle of Willis as well as the internal carotid artery only. Donor vessels for bypass surgery (i.e., branches of superficial temporal artery) could be sufficiently visualized with all magnetic resonance modalities. Conclusions: Our results indicate that a specific 7.0 T vascular imaging protocol yields diagnostic information about vessel pathology in MMV that approximates conventional DSA. 7.0 T MPRAGE was superior to 7.0 T TOF-MRA due to shorter scanning times and better brain coverage. To date, however, limited availability of 7.0 T technology in medical facilities as well as technical and procedural constraints excludes a fair amount of patients from the clinical 7.0 T imaging process.