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Radiology. 2006 Aug;240(2):546-51. Epub 2006 Jun 26.

Articular cartilage of the knee: rapid three-dimensional MR imaging at 3.0 T with IDEAL balanced steady-state free precession--initial experience.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Dr, SO-68B, Stanford, CA 94305-5105, USA. gold@stanford.edu


Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study. In this study, iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP), fat-suppressed bSSFP, and fat-suppressed spoiled gradient-echo (GRE) sequences for 3.0-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of articular knee cartilage were prospectively compared in five healthy volunteers. Cartilage and fluid signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), cartilage-fluid contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), SNR efficiency, CNR efficiency, image quality, and fat suppression were compared. Fat-suppressed bSSFP and IDEAL bSSFP had higher SNR efficiency of cartilage (P < .01) than did GRE. IDEAL bSSFP had higher cartilage-fluid CNR efficiency than did fat-suppressed bSSFP or GRE (P < .01). Fat-suppressed bSSFP and IDEAL bSSFP had higher image quality than did GRE (P < .01). GRE and IDEAL bSSFP had significantly better fat-water separation or fat saturation than did fat-suppressed bSSFP (P < .05). IDEAL bSSFP is a promising method for imaging articular knee cartilage.

RSNA, 2006

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