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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2016 Aug;37(8):1561-6. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4761. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

Evaluation of Focal Cervical Spinal Cord Lesions in Multiple Sclerosis: Comparison of White Matter-Suppressed T1 Inversion Recovery Sequence versus Conventional STIR and Proton Density-Weighted Turbo Spin-Echo Sequences.

Author information

1
From the Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. dineshs@uw.edu.
2
From the Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Conventional MR imaging of the cervical spinal cord in MS is challenged by numerous artifacts and interreader variability in lesion counts. This study compares the relatively novel WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence with STIR and proton density-weighted TSE sequences in the evaluation of cervical cord lesions in patients with MS.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Retrospective blinded analysis of cervical cord MR imaging examinations of 50 patients with MS was performed by 2 neuroradiologists. In each patient, the number of focal lesions and overall lesion conspicuity were measured in the STIR/proton density-weighted TSE and WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence groups. Independent side-by-side comparison was performed to categorize the discrepant lesions as either "definite" or "spurious." Lesion contrast ratio and edge sharpness were independently calculated in each sequence.

RESULTS:

Substantial interreader agreement was noted on the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence (κ = 0.82) compared with STIR/proton density-weighted TSE (κ = 0.52). Average lesion conspicuity was better on the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence (conspicuity of 3.1/5.0 versus 3.7/5.0, P < .01, in the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence versus STIR/proton density-weighted TSE, respectively). Spurious lesions were more common on STIR/proton density-weighted TSE than on the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence (23 and 30 versus 3 and 4 by readers 1 and 2, respectively; P < .01). More "definite" lesions were missed on STIR/proton density-weighted TSE compared with the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence (37 and 38 versus 3 and 6 by readers 1 and 2, respectively). Lesion contrast ratio and edge sharpness were highest on the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is better interreader consistency in the lesion count on the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence compared with STIR/proton density-weighted TSE sequences. The focal cord lesions are visualized with better conspicuity due to better contrast ratio and edge sharpness. There are fewer spurious lesions on the WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence compared with STIR/proton density-weighted TSE. The WM-suppressed T1 inversion recovery sequence could potentially be substituted for either STIR or proton density-weighted TSE sequences in routine clinical protocols.

PMID:
27056424
DOI:
10.3174/ajnr.A4761
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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