T. Benner et al. Animated 3D visualization of ischemic lesions with diffusion-weighted MR imaging


Introduction: Conventional two-dimensional (2D) images do not a priori give information about the three-dimensional (3D) spatial extent of ischemic lesions. The assessment is dependent on the experience and the spatial imagination of the physician. The purpose of our study is to alleviate the determination of the cause and extension of ischemic areas in stroke patients by improved volume estimation and shape evaluation. Therefore, animated 3D image sequences were generated from maximum intensity projections (MIPs) of diffusion-weighted MR images.

Materials & Methods: 10 patients with acute stroke were examined at a 1.5 T scanner with T2- and isotropic diffusion-weighted sequences. The MIP method which is routinely used for MR angiography was applied to the original diffusion-weighted images yielding projections from predefined view point trajectories. The MIP animations were compared with the conventional axial images.

Results: The animated 3D visualization of the MIP diffusion-weighted MR images alleviates volume estimation and shape determination of the lesion as compared to conventional 2D views.

Conclusion: MIP of isotropic diffusion-weighted MR images in acute stroke patients is useful for the determination of the cause and extension of ischemic areas. MIP can be performed fast, requires minimal user interaction and is already integrated in most MR scanners as angiography module.

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