Magnetic resonance angiography in the preoperative evaluation of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Michael J. Petersen, Richard P. Cambria, John A. Kaufman, Glen M. LaMuraglia, Jonathan P. Gertler, David C. Brewster, Stuart C. Geller, Arthur C. Waltman, Gilbert J. L'Italien, William M. Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose: Contrast arteriography (CA) is a useful but invasive technique for the preoperative evaluation of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). To evaluate the use of magnetic resonance arteriography (MRA) as a preoperative study we prospectively studied 38 patients undergoing AAA repair. Methods: All patients underwent biplane CA and MRA with use of a gadolinium-enhanced technique. Radiographic studies were then independently evaluated by blinded radiologists for anatomic findings with CA used as the standard. Studies were then independently evaluated by blinded vascular surgeons, and a surgical plan was made. Results: With CA and intraoperative findings as the standards, MRA proved highly accurate in the determination of multiple key anatomic elements. The proximal extent of aneurysmal disease was correctly predicted in 87% (33/38) patients. Significant iliofemoral occlusive disease was identified with a sensitivity of 83% (5/6). Iliac or femoral aneurysms were detected with a sensitivity of 79% (22/28) and specificity of 86% (41/48). Significant renal artery stenosis was detected with a sensitivity of 71% (12/17) and a specificity of 99% (72/73). Accessory renal arteries were correctly identified in 71% (12/17). Surgeon evaluators correctly predicted the proximal cross-clamp site in 87% (33/38) of patients with use of MRA as compared with the actual operative conduct. Proximal anastomotic sites were correctly predicted in 95% (36/38) with MRA and 97% (37/38) with CA. Renal revascularization was predicted by MRA with a sensitivity of 91% (10/11) and specificity of 100% (65/65). The use of bifurcated aortic prostheses was correctly predicted by MRA in 75% (12/16), which was similar to that predicted by CA (81%, 13/16). Conclusions: MRA can provide preoperative anatomic information that is equivalent to CA for surgical planning. Because of favorable cost and patient safety considerations MRA will assume increasing importance in the preoperative evaluation of AAA. (J VASC SURG 1995;21:891-9.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-899
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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