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PLoS One. 2018 Aug 22;13(8):e0202698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202698. eCollection 2018.

Inter- and Intraobserver reproducibility of T2 relaxation times of the discus interpubicus: A feasibility study at 3 Tesla.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.



To quantify standard values of the discus interpubicus in healthy subjects and to determine reliability and repeatability using T2 relaxation time measurements at 3T.


20 asymptomatic participants (10 male, 10 female; mean age: 27.3 years ±4.1, BMI: 22.2 ±1.8) underwent a 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the pelvic region in a supine position. We included sagittal and para-axial T2w sequences centred over the pubic symphysis in order to identify the complete discus interpubicus. For quantitative analysis, a multi-echo Turbo Spin Echo (TSE) sequence (including 12 echo times between 6.4 and 76.8 ms) was acquired and analysed by using an in-house developed quantification plugin tool (qMapIt) extending ImageJ. Two readers in consensus defined three central slices of the pubic symphysis with the greatest length. For each slice, both readers separately placed three regions-of-interest (ROI) covering the whole discus interpubicus. Both readers repeated the ROI placements in identical fashion after a four-week interval on the original MRI images. Statistical analysis included intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), nonparametric Wilcoxon test, Fisher exact test and mean relaxation time in ms and 95% confidence intervals.


T2 relaxation time analysis was performed for all 20 participants. In total, a mean relaxation time of all analysed segments for both observers was 48.6 (±6.3 ms), with a mean relaxation time for observer 1 of 48.7 (±6.0 ms) and for observer 2 of 48.5 ms (±6.6ms). The calculated ICC comparing inter- and intrarater reproducibility was excellent in all segments (≥0.75).


T2 mapping of the discus interpubicus demonstrates good inter- and intrarater repeatability as well as reliability. Mean relaxation times were calculated with 48.6ms in healthy volunteers.

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