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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007 Dec;189(6):1510-5.

High-resolution 3D cartilage imaging with IDEAL SPGR at 3 T.

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Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, 600 Highland Ave., CSC E1/374, Madison, WI 53792, USA.



The purpose of this study was to perform imaging of cartilage at high resolution with a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) with a combination of iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) with parallel imaging at 3 T and spoiled gradient echo (SPGR) imaging. The findings with the combined technique were compared with those obtained with conventional fat-saturated SPGR imaging.


Compared with fat-saturated SPGR, IDEAL-SPGR imaging combined with parallel imaging at 3 T provides robust fat-water separation and significant improvement in cartilage SNR. Use of IDEAL-SPGR also led to dramatic improvement in cartilage-fluid contrast-to-noise ratio compared with fat-saturated SPGR imaging. Thus, use of IDEAL-SPGR may improve the accuracy of cartilage volume measurements and detection of cartilage surface defects. Excellent evaluation of the morphologic features of the knee cartilage with high-resolution, high-SNR images can be performed in 5 minutes.

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