Diagnosis of extracranial carotid stenosis by MRA of the brain

Chia Hung Wu, Shu Ting Chen, Jung Hsuan Chen, Chih Ping Chung, Chao Bao Luo, Wei Hsin Yuan, Feng Chi Chang, Han Hwa Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Severe extracranial carotid stenosis (SECS) patients may present with nonspecific neurological symptoms that require intracranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and time-of-flight (TOF)-MR angiography (MRA) to exclude intracranial pathology. Recognition of SECS on intracranial TOF-MRA findings is beneficial to provide a prompt carotid imaging study and aggressive stroke prevention. Patients with SECS (January 2016 to May 2019) undergoing percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting (PTAS) were included. Differences in normalized signal intensities (SRICA) and diameters (DICA) between bilateral petrous internal carotid arteries (ICAs) were calculated 1 cm from the orifice. A hypothesized criterion describing the opacification grades (GOPH) of bilateral ophthalmic arteries was proposed. We correlated SRICA (p = 0.041), DICA (p = 0.001) and GOPH (p = 0.012), with the severity of extracranial carotid stenosis on digital subtractive angiography (DSA) in the examined group (n = 113), and all showed statistical significance in predicting percentages of ICA stenosis. The results were further validated in another patient group with SECS after radiation therapy (n = 20; p = 0.704 between the actual and predicted stenosis grades). Our findings support the evaluation of the signal ratio and diameter of intracranial ICA on TOF-MRA to achieve early diagnosis and provide appropriate management of SECS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12010
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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