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Abdom Imaging. 1996 Sep-Oct;21(5):427-32.

Hepatic MR imaging: comparison of RARE derived sequences with conventional sequences for detection and characterization of focal liver lesions.

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Institute of Clinical Radiology, Westfalian Wilhelms-University Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer Strasse 33, D-48129 M√ľnster, Germany.



We compared two T2-weighted turbo spin echo (TSE) sequences with a T2-weighted conventional SE (CSE) sequence to determine whether sequences derived from rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement such as TSE could replace CSE for the detection and subsequent characterization of focal liver lesions.


A total of 55 consecutive patients with 107 liver lesions underwent magnetic resonance imaging examinations at 1.5 Tesla, with a constant imaging protocol. TSE pulse sequences were acquired with eight echo trains (repetition time [TR], 4718 ms; echo time [TE], 90 ms; acquisition time [TA], 4.03 min; and a symmetric k-space ordering scheme) and 11 echo trains (TR, 4200 ms; TE, 140 ms; TA, 4.40 min; and an asymmetric k-space ordering scheme) and compared with CSE (TR, 2300 ms; TE, 45/90 ms; TA, 9.53 min). Images were analyzed qualitatively by scoring image quality and artifacts and counting focal liver lesions by independent reading with consensus obtained for discrepancies. Quantitative analysis was performed by measuring signal-to-noise (S/N), contrast-to-noise (C/N), and tumor-liver signal intensity (T/L) ratios.


T2-weighted TSE sequences provided better subjective image quality and reduced artifacts as compared with the T2-weighted CSE sequence. CSE and TSE sequences exhibited no statistically significant differences in liver S/N, lesion-liver C/N (CSE TE, 90 ms: 18.6 +/- 14.0; TSE TE, 90 ms: 16.5 +/- 12.9) and the detectability of focal liver lesions. Heavily T2-weighted TSE with a TE of 140 ms allowed correct characterization of focal liver lesions based on a T/L ratio of 3.0 in 84% of patients.


T2-weighted TSE sequences are as suited as CSE for the detection (TE, 90 ms), and appear to be superior for the characterization (TE, 140 ms), of focal hepatic lesions. Whether a single sequence, such as a double-echo TSE or a single-echo TSE sequence with a TE between 110 and 120 ms, might perform both functions as well or better than CSE is unknown. However, because of time savings, TSE eventually may be preferred over CSE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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