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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Mar;37(3):660-8. doi: 10.1002/jmri.23843. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Novel application of T1-weighted BLADE sequences with fat suppression compared to TSE in contrast-enhanced T1-weighted imaging of the neck: cutting-edge images?

Author information

1
Institute of Radiology, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. thomas.finkenzeller@klinikum-nuernberg.de

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate if the use of BLADE sequences might overcome some limitations of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the extracranial head and neck, which is a diagnostically challenging area with a variety of artifacts and a broad spectrum of potential lesions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

After informed consent and Institutional Review Board approval, two different BLADE sequences with (BLADE IR) and without inversion pulse (BLADE) were compared to turbo-spin echo (TSE) with fat saturation for coronal T1-weighted postcontrast imaging of the extracranial head and neck region in 40 individuals of a routine patient collective. Visual evaluation of image sharpness, motion artifacts, vessel pulsation, contrast of anatomic structures, contrast of pathologies to surrounding tissue as well as BLADE-specific artifacts was performed by two experienced, independent readers. Statistical evaluation was done by using the Wilcoxon test.

RESULTS:

Both BLADE and BLADE IR were significantly superior to TSE regarding pulsation artifacts and delineation of thoracic structures. TSE provided better results concerning contrast muscle/fat tissue and contrast lymph nodes/fat. More important, it showed significantly better contrast of several lesions, facilitating the detection of patient pathology.

CONCLUSION:

T1-weighted coronal imaging of the extracranial head and neck region is demanding. T1-weighted BLADE sequences still have drawbacks in anatomical contrast and lesion detection but offer possibilities to achieve reasonable image quality in difficult cases with a variety of artifacts.

PMID:
23034901
DOI:
10.1002/jmri.23843
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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