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Eur J Radiol. 2016 Mar;85(3):578-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.12.001. Epub 2015 Dec 4.

The application of paramagnetic contrast-based T2 effect to 3D heavily T2W high-resolution MR imaging of the brachial plexus and its branches.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
2
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
3
Department of Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China. Electronic address: dingxi_liu000@sina.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To introduce a new 3D magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) method involving a paramagnetic contrast-based T2 effect coupled with an advanced 3D heavily T2W SPACE-STIR high resolution imaging sequence that would enhance the contrast between nervous tissue and surrounding tissues.

METHODS:

Thirty subjects (average age, 39.6±17.0 years; 18 male and 12 female) were enrolled, including three patients with brachial plexopathy and 27 healthy volunteers. Subjective scores from two neuroradiologists, evaluating noncontrast MRN (cMRN) and 3D SPACE-STIR contrast enhanced MRN (ceMRN) 3D data using a 3-point scoring system, were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs), SNRs, and contrast ratios within the brachial plexus on cMRN vs. ceMRN MIP and source images were also compared using the paired t-test.

RESULTS:

The average score for cMRN (0.77±0.43) was significantly lower than ceMRN (1.73±0.45) (p<0.001). Lower nerve vs. vein CNRs were found on cMRN vs. ceMRN, respectively (p<0.001 for both source and MIP images). All nerve-to-surrounding tissue contrast ratios (i.e., fat, muscle, veins, and bone) were higher for ceMRN compared with cMRN for both source and MIP images (all p<0.05).

CONCLUSION:

The improved 3D visualization of the brachial plexus and its branches, using this new contrast-enhanced MRN method, can provide high resolution imaging which may be of significant value in the assessment of brachial plexopathy.

KEYWORDS:

Brachial plexus; Contrast ratio; Contrast-to-noise ratios; Magnetic resonance neurography; Signal-to-noise rations

PMID:
26860670
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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