Spatial misregistration of signal recovered from flowing spins within vascular structures is a common phenomenon seen in MR imaging of the CNS. The condition is displayed as a bright line or dot offset from the true anatomic location of the lumen of the imaged vessel. Its origin is the time delay between application of the phase- and frequency-encoding gradients used to locate spins within the plane of section. The principal condition necessary for the production of spatial misregistration is flow oblique to the axis of the phase-encoding gradient. Flow-related enhancement (entry slice phenomenon), even-echo rephasing, and gradient-moment nulling contribute to the production of the bright signal of spatial misregistration. Familiarity with the typical appearance of flow-dependent spatial misregistration permits confirmation of a vessel's patency; identification of the direction of flow; estimation of the velocity of flow; and differentiation of this flow artifact from atheromas, dissection, intraluminal clot, and artifacts such as chemical shift.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging