Black blood imaging of intracranial vessel walls

Traditional vascular imaging focuses on non-invasive cross-sectional imaging to assess luminal morphology; however, the vessel wall itself may be specifically involved in many diseases. Newer pulse sequences, and particularly black blood MRI of intracranial vessels, have brought a paradigm shift in understanding the pathophysiology of many vasculopathies. Black blood MRI of intracranial vessel walls can help in a range of pathologies with differing pathophysiology, including intracranial atherosclerosis, aneurysms, vasculitis and vasculopathy, moyamoya disease, dissection and vertebrobasilar hypoplasia. This review highlights how vessel wall imaging can contribute to the clinical diagnosis and management of patients with intracranial vascular pathology.

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