Echo contrast-enhanced three-dimensional power Doppler of intracranial arteries.

T Poster, B Braun, N Pfundtner, Reiner Heinrich Sprengelmeyer, S Meves, H Przuntek, T Buettner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of contrast-enhanced three-dimensional (3-D) power Doppler (CE3DPD) in the assessment of intracranial vascular structures, and to compare the results with unenhanced 3-D power Doppler (3DPD) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) findings. We insonated 25 patients without cerebrovascular diseases through the temporal bone window using 3DPD and CE3DPD; for comparison, 13 patients underwent MRA. Identification rates of vascular segments and of small branches of intracranial vessels were evaluated by two independent investigators blinded to MRA results. In 21 patients with adequate insonation conditions, CE3DPD significantly improved identification rates compared to 3DPD for the complete visualization of the pi segment (80.9 vs. 19.0%, p < 0.005, P2 segment (80.9 vs. 42.8%, p < 0.05 and Al segment (85.7 vs. 38.1%, p < 0.005). Furthermore, CE3DPD depicted, in significantly more examinations, branches of the middle (MCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA). Interobserver agreement was higher than 95% for the main intracranial segments and branches of the MCA, but relatively low (80.1-85.7%) for branches of the PCA. In comparison to CE3DPD, MRA identified only parieto-occipital branches of the PCA, temporal branches of the MCA, frontal branches of the anterior cerebral artery and the MCA bifurcation more frequently and accurately. In 4 patients with inadequate acoustic temporal bone windows, the application of a galactose-based microbubble suspension allowed clear 3-D visualization of almost all major intracranial vascular segments and some branches of the large arteries. In conclusion, CE3DPD is a more sensitive ultrasonic tool compared to unenhanced 3-D reconstructions. It makes 3-D ultrasound imaging of the basal cerebral circulation easier to perform and interpret, by providing an improved spatially oriented display of image position. As such, this method may increase operator diagnostic confidence level under pathologic conditions. (C) 1998 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-962
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998


  • 3-D sonography
  • transcranial imaging
  • echo-contrast enhancers
  • magnetic resonance angiography
  • PHASE-2


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