Background and Purpose: We undertook to investigate the usefulness of signal targeting with alternating radiofrequency magnetic resonance angiography (STAR MRA) in the diagnosis of acute cerebrovascular disease. The potential advantage of the technique is that angiographic images can be acquired in less than 1 minute. Methods: We studied 19 patients (11 men and 8 women, ranging in age from 36 to 84 years [mean age, 66 year]) presenting with signs and symptoms of acute stroke. Patients underwent STAR MRA and three-dimensional fast imaging with steady-state precession (3D FISP) MRA. The MRAs were analyzed as to image quality and vascular abnormalities in the vascular territory of stroke as defined by diffusion-weighted imaging abnormalities and compared using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results: STAR MRAs had slightly inferior image quality compared with 3D FISP MRA (P<.05). STAR MRA and 3D FISP MRA agreed in 18 of 19 cases regarding vascular abnormalities in the territory of the infarct (occlusion, n=8; stenosis, n=4; no abnormality, n=6). In one patient, the techniques disagreed, when 3D FISP MRA was normal and STAR MRA demonstrated a vessel occlusion in the vascular territory of a stroke as defined by diffusion-weighted imaging abnormalities (P>.05). Conclusions: Despite slightly inferior image quality compared with 3D FISP MRA, STAR MRA is comparable with 3D FISP MRA in depicting abnormalities in the proximal parts of the cerebral arteries corresponding to ischemic regions on diffusion-weighted imaging, in a strikingly shorter acquisition time. Further studies are necessary to confirm that the smaller branches are better shown by using longer inversion times.
- Cerebrovascular disorders
- Magnetic resonance angiography
- Stroke, acute
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing