Comparison of Magnetic Resonance Volume Flow Rates, Angiography, and Carotid Dopplers: Preliminary Results

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Background and PurposeWe compared the results of conventional angiography, carotid Doppler, and magnetic resonance angiography volume flow rates to determine the clinical utility of volume flow rate assessment of blood flow to the anterior circulation in patients with carotid occlusive disease.MethodsFrom 11 symptomatic patients, a total of 22 extracranial carotid arteries were studied with all three techniques. The studies were independently read, and regression analysis was used to compare the measurements.ResultsCarotid Doppler measurements of the distal extracranial carotid arteries were proportional to the inverse of the extracranial carotid volume flow rate (r=.53, R2=29%, P<.01), volume flow rates were proportional to the inverse of measured percent stenosis on angiography (r=.84, R2=71%, P < .01), and Dopplers were proportional to angiography (r=.94, R2=90%, P<.01). Symptomatic Doppler systolic velocity was significantly higher (P<.002), symptomatic measured stenosis was significantly higher (P<.002), and symptomatic volume flow rate was significantly lower (P < .01) than their respective asymptomatic-side values. These preliminary observations, however, may well change once a large data set, especially one in which more patients with high-grade carotid stenosis are included, is studied.ConclusionsAssessment of carotid volume flow rates by magnetic resonance angiography quantifies flow reduction secondary to atherosclerotic occlusive disease. The easily obtained flow data add both documentation of arterial flow characteristics related to internal carotid stenosis and information regarding the adequacy of collateral pathways. (Stroke. 1994;25:413-417.)

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