Age-dependent Intracranial Artery Morphology in Healthy Children.
PURPOSE: Evaluation of intracranial artery morphology plays an important role in diagnosing a variety of neurovascular diseases. In addition to clinical symptoms, diagnosis currently relies on qualitative rather than quantitative evaluation of vascular imaging sequences, such as magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). However, there is a paucity of literature on normal arterial morphology in the pediatric population across brain development. We aimed to quantitatively assess normal, age-related changes in artery morphology in children. METHODS: We performed retrospective analysis of pediatric MRA data obtained from a tertiary referral center. An MRA dataset from 98 children (49 boys/49 girls) aged 0.6-20 years (median = 11.5 years) with normal intracranial vasculature was retrospectively collected between 2011 and 2018. All arteries were automatically segmented to determine the vessel radius. Using an atlas-based approach, the average radius and density of arteries were measured in the three main cerebral vascular territories and the radius of five major arteries was determined at corresponding locations. RESULTS: The radii of the major arteries as well as the average artery radius and density in the different vascular territories in the brain remained constant throughout childhood and adolescence (|r| < 0.369 in all cases). CONCLUSION: This study presents the first automated evaluation of intracranial vessel morphology on MRA across childhood. Our results can serve as a framework for quantitative evaluation of cerebral vessel morphology in the setting of pediatric neurovascular diseases.
Quon, JL; Mouches, P; Kim, LH; Jabarkheel, R; Zhang, Y; Steinberg, GK; Grant, GA; Edwards, MSB; Yeom, KW; Forkert, ND
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