Comparison of Magnetic Resonance Angiography and Digital Subtraction Angiography for the Assessment of Infrapopliteal Arterial Occlusive Lesions, Based on the TASC II Classification Criteria

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This paper aimed to study the agreement and repeatability, both intra- and interobserver, of infrapopliteal lesion assessment with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), using the TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus (TASC) II criteria, with perioperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) as a reference. Sixty-eight patients with an MRA preceding an endovascular infrapopliteal revascularization were included. Preoperative MRAs and perioperative DSAs were evaluated in random order by three independent observers using the TASC II classification. The results were analyzed using visual grading characteristics (VGC) analysis and Krippendorff's α. No systematic difference was found between modalities: area under the VGC curve (AUCVGC) = 0.48 (p = 0.58) or intraobserver; AUCVGC for Observer 1 and 2 respectively, 0.49 (p = 0.85) and 0.53 (p = 0.52) for MRA compared with 0.54 (p = 0.30) and 0.49 (p = 0.81) for DSA. Interobserver differences were seen: AUCVGC of 0.63 (p < 0.01) for DSA and 0.80 (p < 0.01) for MRA. These results were confirmed using Krippendorff's α for the three observers showing 0.13 (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.07-0.31) for MRA and 0.39 (95% CI 0.23-0.53) for DSA. Poor interobserver agreement was also found in the choice of a target vessel on preoperative MRA: Krippendorff's α = 0.19 (95% CI 0.01‒0.36). In conclusion, infrapopliteal lesions can be reliably determined on preoperative MRA, but interobserver variability regarding the choice of a target vessel is a major concern that appears to affect the overall TASC II grade.


  • Erik Baubeta Fridh
  • Karin Ludwigs
  • Angelica Svalkvist
  • Manne Andersson
  • Joakim Nordanstig
  • Mårten Falkenberg
  • Åse A Johnsson
External organisations
  • Ryhov County Hospital, Jönköping
  • University of Gothenburg
  • South Elfsborg Hospital
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 31
Publication categoryResearch