Feasibility of Non-contrast-enhanced Magnetic Resonance Angiography for Imaging Upper Extremity Vasculature Prior to Vascular Access Creation

A. S. Bode, R. N. Planken, M. A. G. Merkx, F. M. van der Sande, L. Geerts, J. H. M. Tordoir*, T. Leiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Preoperative mapping of arterial and venous anatomy helps to prevent postoperative complications after vascular access creation. The use of gadolinium in contrast-enhanced (CE) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) has been linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate non-contrast-enhanced (NCE) MRA for assessment of upper extremity and central vasculature and to compare it with CE-MRA. Methods: NCE and CE-MRA images were acquired in 10 healthy volunteers and 15 patients with ESRD. In each data set, two observers analysed 11 arterial and 16 venous segments with regard to image quality (0-4), presence of artefacts (0-2) and vessel-to-background ratio. Results: More arterial segments were depicted using CE-MRA compared to NCE-MRA (99% vs. 96%, p = 0.001) with mean image quality of 3.80 vs. 2.68, (p <0.001) and mean vessel-to-background ratio of 6.47 vs. 4.14 (p <0.001). Ninety-one percent of the venous segments were portrayed using NCE-MRA vs. 80% using CE-MRA (p <0.001). Mean image quality and vessel-to-background ratio were 2.41 vs. 2.21 (p = 0.140) and 5.13 vs. 3.88 (p <0.001), respectively. Conclusions: Although arterial image quality and vessel-to-background ratios were lower, NCE-MRA is considered a feasible alternative to CE-MRA in patients with ESRD who need imaging of the upper extremity and central vasculature prior to dialysis access creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Upper extremity
  • Arteriovenous shunt, surgical
  • Kidney failure, chronic
  • Nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy
  • Magnetic resonance angiography

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