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Radiology. 2008 Dec;249(3):1026-33. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2493080227.

Ankle: isotropic MR imaging with 3D-FSE-cube--initial experience in healthy volunteers.

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Department of Radiology, Stanford University Medical Center, 300 Pasteur Dr, Room S-062A, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The purpose of this prospective study was to compare a new isotropic three-dimensional (3D) fast spin-echo (FSE) pulse sequence with parallel imaging and extended echo train acquisition (3D-FSE-Cube) with a conventional two-dimensional (2D) FSE sequence for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the ankle. After institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained and in accordance with HIPAA privacy guidelines, MR imaging was performed in the ankles of 10 healthy volunteers (four men, six women; age range, 25-41 years). Imaging with the 3D-FSE-Cube sequence was performed at 3.0 T by using both one-dimensional- and 2D-accelerated autocalibrated parallel imaging to decrease imaging time. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) with 3D-FSE-Cube were compared with those of the standard 2D FSE sequence. Cartilage, muscle, and fluid SNRs were significantly higher with the 3D-FSE-Cube sequence (P < .01 for all). Fluid-cartilage CNR was similar for both techniques. The two sequences were also compared for overall image quality, blurring, and artifacts. No significant difference for overall image quality and artifacts was demonstrated between the 2D FSE and 3D-FSE-Cube sequences, although the section thickness in 3D-FSE-Cube imaging was much thinner (0.6 mm). However, blurring was significantly greater on the 3D-FSE-Cube images (P < .04). The 3D-FSE-Cube sequence with isotropic resolution is a promising new MR imaging sequence for viewing complex joint anatomy.

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