European Radiology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 1452–1459 | Cite as

Visualization of the lenticulostriate arteries at 3T using black-blood T1-weighted intracranial vessel wall imaging: comparison with 7T TOF-MRA

  • Zihao Zhang
  • Zhaoyang Fan
  • Qingle Kong
  • Jiayu Xiao
  • Fang Wu
  • Jing An
  • Qi YangEmail author
  • Debiao Li
  • Yan Zhuo
Magnetic Resonance



The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of using intracranial T1-weighted vessel wall imaging (VWI) to visualize the lenticulostriate arteries (LSAs) at 3T.

Material and methods

Thirteen healthy volunteers were examined with VWI at 3T and TOF-MRA at 7T during the same day. On the vascular skeletons obtained by manual tracing, the number of stems and branches of LSAs were counted. On the most prominent branch in every hemisphere, the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), the full length and the local length (5-15 mm above MCAs) were measured and compared between the two methods. Nine stroke patients with intracranial artery stenosis were also recruited into the study. The branches of LSAs were compared between the symptomatic and asymptomatic side.


The extracted vascular trees were in good agreement between 7T TOF-MRA and 3T VWI. The two acquisitions showed similar numbers of the LSA stems. The number of branches revealed by 3T VWI was slightly lower than 7T TOF. The full lengths were slightly lower by VWI at 3T (p = 0.011, ICC = 0.917). The measured local lengths (5-15 mm from MCAs) showed high coherence between VWI and TOF-MRA (p = 0.098, ICC = 0.970). In stroke patients, 12 plaques were identified on MCA segments, and nine plaques were located on the symptomatic side. The average numbers of LSA visualized by 3T VWI were 4.3±1.3 on the symptomatic side and 5.0±1.1 on the asymptomatic side.


3T VWI is capable of depicting LSAs, particularly the stems and the proximal segments, with comparable image quality to that of 7T TOF-MRA.

Key Points

• T1-weighted intracranial VWI at 3T allows for black-blood MR angiography of lenticulostriate artery.

• 3T intracranial VWI depicts the stems and proximal segments of the lenticulostriate arteries comparable to 7T TOF-MRA.

• It is feasible to assess both large vessel wall lesions and lenticulostriate vasculopathy in one scan.


MRI angiography Intracranial atherosclerosis Lenticulostriate vasculopathy Stroke 





7 Tesla


Contrast-to-noise ratio


Contrast ratio


Cerebrospinal fluid


Digital subtraction angiography


Flow-sensitive black-blood


Intraclass correlation coefficient


Lenticulostriate artery


Middle cerebral artery


Minimum intensity projections


Maximum intensity projections


Multi-planar reconstruction


Magnetic resonance imaging


Sampling perfection with application-optimized contrast using different flip angle evolutions




Time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography


Vessel wall imaging



This study has received funding by Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation (7184226), Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Program by CAST (2017QNRC001), Ministry of Science and Technology of China grant (2015CB351701), National Science Foundation of China (NSFC 91749127), American Heart Association (15SDG25710441), and National Institutes of Health (NHLBI 2R01HL096119).

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Qi Yang.

Conflict of interest

Dr. Jing An is an employee of Siemens Shenzhen Magnetic Resonance Ltd. Other authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

Zhuang Tao kindly provided statistical advice for this manuscript.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• prospective

• observational

• performed at one institution

Supplementary material

330_2018_5701_MOESM1_ESM.docx (139 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 139 kb)


  1. 1.
    Marinković S, Gibo H, Milisavljević M, Ćetković M (2001) Anatomic and clinical correlations of the lenticulostriate arteries. Clin Anat 14:190–195. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Greenberg SM (2006) Small vessels, big problems. N Engl J Med 354:1451–1453. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Feekes JA, Hsu SW, Chaloupka JC, Cassell MD (2005) Tertiary microvascular territories define lacunar infarcts in the basal ganglia. Ann Neurol 58:18–30. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Román GC, Erkinjuntti T, Wallin A, Pantoni L, Chui HC (2002) Subcortical ischaemic vascular dementia subcortical ischaemic vascular dementia. Lancet Neurol 1:426–436.
  5. 5.
    Tanriover N, Kawashima M, Rhoton AL Jr, Ulm AJ, Mericle RA (2003) Microsurgical anatomy of the early branches of the middle cerebral artery: morphometric analysis and classification with angiographic correlation. J Neurosurg 98:1277–1290.
  6. 6.
    Cho ZH, Kang CK, Han JY et al (2008) Observation of the lenticulostriate arteries in the human brain in vivo using 7.0T MR angiography. Stroke 39:1604–1606. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kang CK, Park CW, Han JY et al (2009) Imaging and analysis of lenticulostriate arteries using 7.0-Tesla magnetic resonance angiography. Magn Reson Med 61:136–144.
  8. 8.
    Hendrikse J, Zwanenburg JJ, Visser F, Takahara T, Luijten P (2008) Noninvasive depiction of the lenticulostriate arteries with time-of-flight MR angiography at 7.0 T. Cerebrovasc Dis 26:624–629.
  9. 9.
    von Morze C, Xu D, Purcell DD et al (2007) Intracranial time-of-flight MR angiography at 7T with comparison to 3T. J Magn Reson Imaging 26:900–904. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kang CK, Park CA, Park CW, Lee YB, Cho ZH, Kim YB (2010) Lenticulostriate arteries in chronic stroke patients visualised by 7 T magnetic resonance angiography. Int J Stroke 5:374–380.
  11. 11.
    Kang CK, Park CA, Lee H et al (2009) Hypertension correlates with lenticulostriate arteries visualized by 7T magnetic resonance angiography. Hypertension 54:1050–1056.
  12. 12.
    Seo SW, Kang CK, Kim SH et al (2012) Measurements of lenticulostriate arteries using 7T MRI: new imaging markers for subcortical vascular dementia. J Neurol Sci 322:200–205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chen YC, Li MH, Li YH, Qiao RH (2011) Analysis of correlation between the number of lenticulostriate arteries and hypertension based on high-resolution MR angiography findings. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 32:1899–1903. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chen YC, Li YH, Lu J, Li WB, Wang JB (2016) Correlation between the reduction in lenticulostriate arteries caused by hypertension and changes in brain metabolism detected with MRI. AJR Am J Roentgenol 206:395–400.
  15. 15.
    Gotoh K, Okada T, Miki Y et al (2009) Visualization of the lenticulostriate artery with flow-sensitive black-blood acquisition in comparison with time-of-flight MR angiography. J Magn Reson Imaging 29:65–69. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Okuchi S, Okada T, Fujimoto K et al (2014) Visualization of Lenticulostriate Arteries at 3T: Optimization of Slice-selective off-resonance Sinc Pulse-prepared TOF-MRA and its comparison with flow-sensitive black-blood MRA. Acad Radiol 21:812–816. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mandell DM, Mossa-Basha M, Qiao Y et al (2017) Intracranial vessel wall MRI: principles and expert consensus recommendations of the American Society of Neuroradiology. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 38:218–229. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wardlaw JM, Smith C, Dichgans M (2013) Mechanisms of sporadic cerebral small vessel disease: insights from neuroimaging. Lancet Neurol 12:483–497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fan Z, Yang Q, Deng Z et al (2017) Whole-brain intracranial vessel wall imaging at 3 Tesla using cerebrospinal fluid–attenuated T1-weighted 3D turbo spin echo. Magn Reson Med 77:1142–1150. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yang Q, Deng Z, Bi X et al (2017) Whole-brain vessel wall MRI: a parameter tune-up solution to improve the scan efficiency of three-dimensional variable flip-angle turbo spin-echo. J Magn Reson Imaging 46:751–757. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Liao W, Rohr K, Kang C-K, Cho Z-H, Wörz S(2016) Automatic 3D segmentation and quantification of lenticulostriate arteries from high-resolution 7 tesla MRA images. IEEE Trans Image Process 25:400–413.
  22. 22.
    Updegrove A, Wilson NM, Merkow J, Lan H, Marsden AL, Shadden SC (2017) SimVascular: an open source pipeline for cardiovascular simulation. Ann Biomed Eng 45:525–541.
  23. 23.
    Sengupta D, Kahn AM, Burns JC, Sankaran S, Shadden SC, Marsden AL (2012) Image-based modeling of hemodynamics in coronary artery aneurysms caused by Kawasaki disease. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 11:915–932.
  24. 24.
    Mukherjee D, Padilla J, Shadden SC (2016) Numerical investigation of fluid–particle interactions for embolic stroke. Theor Comput Fluid Dyn 30:23–39. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mukherjee D, Jani ND, Selvaganesan K, Weng CL, Shadden SC (2016) Computational assessment of the relation between embolism source and embolus distribution to the circle of Willis for improved understanding of stroke etiology. J Biomech Eng 138:081008.
  26. 26.
    Yamamoto Y, Ohara T, Hamanaka M, Hosomi A, Tamura A, Akiguchi I (2011) Characteristics of intracranial branch atheromatous disease and its association with progressive motor deficits. J Neurol Sci 304:78–82.
  27. 27.
    Yoon Y, Lee DH, Kang DW, Kwon SU, Kim JS (2013) Single subcortical infarction and atherosclerotic plaques in the middle cerebral artery. Stroke 44:2462–2467.

Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zihao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhaoyang Fan
    • 3
    • 4
  • Qingle Kong
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jiayu Xiao
    • 6
  • Fang Wu
    • 8
  • Jing An
    • 7
  • Qi Yang
    • 3
    • 8
    Email author
  • Debiao Li
    • 3
    • 9
  • Yan Zhuo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive ScienceInstitute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.The Innovation Center of Excellence on Brain ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Biomedical Imaging Research InstituteCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.Department of RadiologyChaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  7. 7.Siemens Shenzhen Magnetic Resonance Ltd.ShenzhenChina
  8. 8.Department of RadiologyXuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  9. 9.Departments of Medicine and BioengineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUnited States

Personalised recommendations