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J Magn Reson Imaging. 1997 Mar-Apr;7(2):292-7.

Phased array breath-hold versus non-breath-hold MR imaging of focal liver lesions: a prospective comparative study.

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Department of Radiology, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan.


This study was undertaken to determine whether phased array breath-hold T1- and T2-weighted sequences can replace non-breath-hold spin echo (SE) sequences in the imaging of focal liver lesions by comparing overall image quality, liver-lesion contrast, and artifact. Both breath-hold and non-breath-hold T1-weighted and T2-weighted imagings of focal liver lesions were prospectively compared in 120 patients with suspected focal liver lesions imaged at 1.5 T with use of a body phased array multicoil. Breath-hold images were acquired with T1-weighted fast low-angle shot (FLASH) and T2-weighted turbo spin echo (TSE) sequences, and non-breath-hold images were made with conventional T1- and T2-weighted SE sequences. Qualitative image analysis was done by three blinded readers, and quantitative analysis was done. The highest signal-to-noise ratios were obtained with breath-hold T1-weighted FLASH sequence. The signal-to-noise ratios of breath-hold T2-weighted TSE sequence were slightly inferior to those of non-breath-hold SE sequence. Both T1-weighted and T2-weighted breath-hold sequences had less image artifact. Overall image quality of breath-hold sequences was better than that of non-breath-hold sequences for both T1- and T2-weighted sequences (P < .01). The tissue contrast of T1-weighted FLASH sequence was superior to that of SE sequence (P < .01). On T2-weighted imaging, tissue contrast of solid lesions was better on conventional SE sequence than that on breath-hold TSE sequence (P < .01). Respiratory ghost artifact was less prominent on T1-weighted FLASH sequence, although this artifact was occasionally seen on breath-hold T2-weighted TSE sequence. In a state-of-art MR unit with use of a phased array multicoil, conventional T1-weighted can be replaced by breath-hold sequences. On T2-weighted imaging, because solid tumor-liver contrast on breath-hold TSE imaging is inferior to that on non-breath-hold SE image, breath-hold imaging may not replace conventional non-breath-hold T2-weighted SE sequence.

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