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Magn Reson Imaging. 1990;8(3):223-9.

Magnetic resonance imaging features in melanoma.

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Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Department of Radiology 90033.


T1 and T2 relaxation time shortening secondary to paramagnetic compounds has been described in melanoma. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the signal behavior of melanoma involved in various body areas using short TR, TE and long TR, TE sequences. Twenty-seven sites of melanoma were evaluated with MR using T1 weighted and T2-weighted techniques. Using fat and muscle signal intensities as references tissues, lesions were graded into high, low or intermediate intensity categories for each of the sequences. Four signal patterns emerged. The typical pattern characterized by high signal on T1-weighted images and low signal on T2-weighted images reflected T1 and T2 shortening. The other pattern categories comprised of lesions demonstrating low signal T1-weighted images and high signal on T2-weighted images, high signal on both T1- and T2-weighted images and lesions showing intermediate signal on either T1- or T2-weighted images. We observed a tendency away from the typical signal pattern in extraocular melanoma cases with only one of 14 demonstrating this pattern. Moreover, only seven of thirteen ocular melanomas exhibited such behavior. Possible explanations for this findings as well as the existence of a variety of MR appearances to melanoma are offered. We conclude that while signal patterns showing T1 and T2 shortening are typical of melanoma, the absence of these does not exclude the diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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