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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Feb;210(2):404-411. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18247. Epub 2017 Nov 7.

Clinical Evaluation of Silent T1-Weighted MRI and Silent MR Angiography of the Brain.

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1 Department of Anatomy and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ.
2 Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Lucas Center, Stanford, CA.
3 Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.



New MRI sequences based on rapid radial acquisition have reduced gradient noise. The purpose of this study was to compare Silent T1-weighted and unenhanced MR angiography (MRA) against conventional sequences in a clinical population.


The study cohort consisted of 40 patients with suspected brain metastases (median age, 60 years; range, 23-91 years) who underwent T1-weighted contrast-enhanced MRI and 51 patients with suspected vascular lesions or cerebral ischemia (median age, 60 years; range, 16-94 years) who underwent unenhanced intracranial MRA. Three neuroradiologists reviewed the images blindly and rated several measures of image quality on a 5-point Likert scale. Reviewers recorded the number of enhancing lesions and whether Silent images were better than, worse than, or equivalent to conventional images.


For T1-weighted MR images, ratings were slightly lower for Silent versus conventional images, except for diagnostic confidence. Although more lesions were detected on conventional images, this difference was not statistically significant; agreement was seen in 88% of cases. In 48% of cases, T1-weighted scans were deemed equivalent, but when a preference existed, it was usually for conventional images (38% vs 14%). Conventional MRA images were rated higher on all image quality metrics and were strongly preferred (reviewers preferred conventional images in 69% of cases, rated the images as equivalent in 27% of cases, and preferred Silent images in 4% of cases). In some cases, artifacts on Silent images caused reduced vessel caliber, vessel irregularities, and even absent vessels.


Although conventional T1-weighted images were preferred overall, most Silent T1-weighted images were rated as equivalent to or better than conventional images and represent a potential alternative for imaging of noise-averse patients. Silent MRA scored significantly worse and could not be recommended at this time, suggesting that it requires additional refinement before routine clinical use.


MR angiography; Silent T1-weighted MRI; brain

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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