Anatomical effects on the relationship between brain arterial diameter and length: The Northern Manhattan Study

Salehi Omran Setareh, Khasiyev Farid, Zhang Cen, Tatjana Rundek, Ralph L. Sacco, Clinton B. Wright, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, Jose Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: In patients with dolichoectasia, it is uncertain how dilatation and/or elongation relate to each other. We aimed to examine the correlation between arterial diameter and length within arteries and across the circle of Willis (COW). Methods: We included stroke-free participants in the Northern Manhattan Study who underwent magnetic resonance angiography. Intracranial artery diameters and lengths were obtained with semiautomated commercial software and were adjusted for head size. We first investigated the correlation between diameters and length using Pearson's correlation coefficient. We then built generalized linear models adjusted for demographics and risk factors. Results: Among 1210 participants included in the analysis (mean age 71 ± 9 years, 59% women, 65% Hispanic), a larger basilar artery (BA) diameter correlated with greater BA length (r =.3), and left and right middle cerebral artery (MCA) diameters correlated with one another (r =.4). Across the COW, BA diameter correlated with MCA diameters (r =.3 for both). In adjusted analyses, MCA diameters were associated with larger posterior circulation diameters (β = 0.07), MCA and BA lengths (β = 0.003 and β = 0.002, respectively), presence of fetal posterior cerebral artery (PCA), (β = 0.11), and a complete COW (β = –0.02). Similarly, BA length was associated with a fetal PCA (β = 1.1), and BA diameter was associated with anterior circulation diameters (β = 0.15) and presence of fetal PCA (β = –0.4). Conclusions: COW configuration should be considered when using arterial diameter cutoffs to define dolichoectasia. Further studies are needed to discern whether arterial diameter or length best identify individuals at risk of vascular events attributable to dolichoectasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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