This study describes and evaluates a semiautomated method for prescribing an optimal imaging plane that is located as close as possible to the skull base, and is simultaneously nearly perpendicular to the four arteries leading blood to the brain internal carotid arteries (ICAs) and vertebral arteries (VAs). Such a method will streamline and improve reliability of the measurement of total cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure by velocity encoding phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging. The method first extracts the vessels centerline from a 2-D time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiogram of the neck by performing distance transformations. An anatomical marker, the V2 segment of the VAs, is then identified to guide the imaging plane to be as close and below the skull base. An imaging plane that is nearly perpendicular to the ICAs and V2 segment of VAs is then identified by minimizing a misalignment value, estimated by a weighted mean of the angles between the planes normal and the vessel axes at the vessel-plane intersections. The performance of the semiautomated method was evaluated by comparing manually selected planes to those found semiautomatically in nine magnetic resonance angiogram datasets. The semiautomated method consistently outperformed manual prescription with a significantly smaller misalignment value, 8.6 versus 20.7 (P < 0.001), respectively, and significantly improved reproducibility.
- Computer-guided procedure
- magnetic resonance scan prescription
- phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging
- total cerebral blood flow quantitation
- vessel centerline identification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering