Fast Spin-Echo Imaging of Intracranial Neoplasms

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Our goal was to compare dual echo fast SE (FSE) T2-weighted MRI of intracranial neoplasms with conventional SE (CSE) images. In phase 1 of the study, CSE and FSE dual echo MR studies of 33 patients with intracranial neoplasms and 26 normal controls were separately interpreted by three neuroradiologists blinded to clinical history to ascertain differences in lesion conspicuity. The CSE and FSE images were read independently, in random order, with at least a 3 week interval between readings. In phase 2 of the study, CSE and FSE sequences were compared side by side by three neuroradiologists independently to evaluate lesion conspicuity and artifacts and to determine whether FSE would be an acceptable replacement for CSE imaging. Lesion detection was equivalent in 111 of 117 interpretations (94.9%). The CSE and FSE sequences were equivalent in detecting lesion-associated abnormalities (hemorrhage, calcium, mass effect, edema, and hydrocephalus) and in characterizing lesion size, margins, and signal intensity. Nonspecific T2 white matter hyperintensities were detected more often with CSE, while susceptibility artifacts were less conspicuous on FSE. Ventricular catheters, postoperative soft tissue and bony changes, and postradiation therapy changes were detected equally well on both sequences. In phase 2 of the study, lesion conspicuity and presence of artifacts were felt to be equivalent with the two sequences. The FSE sequences can serve as a rapid, feasible alternative to conventional CSE sequences for intracranial tumor detection.

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