Thursday, April 10, 2008


Arteriovenous Shunt Visualization in Arteriovenous Malformations with Arterial Spin-Labeling MR Imaging
R.L. Wolfa, J. Wanga,b, J.A. Detrea,b, E.L. Zagerc and R.W. Hursta,c

a Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pa
b Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pa
c Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pa

Please address correspondence to Ronald L. Wolf, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Section of Neuroradiology, Dulles 219, 3400 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail:

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A reliable quantitative technique for measuring arteriovenous (AV) shunt in vascular malformations is not currently available. Here, we evaluated the hypothesis that continuous arterial spin-labeled (CASL) perfusion MR imaging can be used to detect and measure AV shunt in patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: CASL perfusion MR imaging was performed in 7 patients with AVMs. Semiquantitative AV shunt estimates were generated based on a thresholding strategy by using signal-intensity difference ({Delta}M) images to avoid potential errors in cerebral blood flow (CBF) calculation related to abnormal transit times and nonphysiologic blood-tissue water exchange in and around the AVMs. The potential for measuring CBF in regions distant from and near the AVM was explored, as was the relationship of CBF changes related to the size of the shunt.

RESULTS: In all 7 cases, striking increased intensity was seen on CASL perfusion {Delta}M maps in the nidus and venous structures draining the AVM. Shunt estimates ranged from 30% to 0.6%. Mean CBF measurements in structures near the AVMs were not significantly different from the contralateral measurements. However, CBF in adjacent ipsilateral white matter increased relative to the contralateral side as the percent shunt increased (P = .02). Cortical gray matter CBF {Delta} (contralateral-ipsilateral) values demonstrated the same effect, but the correlation was weak and not significant. Thalamic CBF decreased ipsilaterally with increasing percent AV shunt (P = .01), indicating a possible steal effect. Basal ganglia {Delta} values showed little change in CBF with the size of the AV shunt.

CONCLUSION: CASL perfusion MR imaging can demonstrate AV shunting, providing high lesion conspicuity and a novel means for evaluating AVM physiology.



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Anonymous said...


Sarah Ann said...


I help manage a web site that provides online support for AVM survivors. Our online community currently provides kind words of support to 600+ members but since there are many thousands more to reach, we are trying to spread the word about our site. If you would kindly post a link to our community here:, it would be greatly appreciated by current and future members in search of support.

Sarah Ann

DelorumRex said...

You got it! Check out the links, to the right.

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