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Radiology. 1999 Sep;212(3):793-8.

Brain lesions: when should fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery sequences be used in MR evaluation?

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To compare qualitatively and quantitatively the contrast of brain lesions detected with fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) and intermediate-weighted sequences at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

In this prospective study, 47 patients suspected of having a brain lesion underwent MR imaging with FLAIR, intermediate-weighted, and T2-weighted sequences. Qualitative assessment was performed of lesion conspicuity, detection, overall image artifact, and additional clinical information. Contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were calculated between lesions and the normal brain or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

RESULTS:

FLAIR images were equal to intermediate-weighted images for overall lesion conspicuity and detection but were associated more often with image artifacts. Lesion-to-background contrast was significantly higher on FLAIR than on intermediate-weighted images. FLAIR images failed to demonstrate multiple sclerosis (MS) plaques located in the basal ganglia and brain stem.

CONCLUSION:

Although FLAIR images provided additional information in some cases, they did not have distinct advantages over intermediate-weighted images. When cases of MS are evaluated, intermediate-weighted images are preferable to FLAIR images. Except in cases of MS, either FLAIR or intermediate-weighted sequences should be added to T2-weighted sequences at MR imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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