Esophageal Magnetic Resonance Fluoroscopy: Optimization of the Sequence

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ObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to try to delineate the esophageal passage under dynamic conditions and to determine optimum settings for esophageal magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.MethodsTen healthy volunteers underwent MR fluoroscopy with two T1-weighted sequences: turbo field echo (TFE) and T1-weighted fast field echo (T1-FFE). These sequences were compared for signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and image quality. To determine the optimum slice thickness, an additional 10 healthy volunteers underwent MR fluoroscopy. Results obtained for slice thicknesses of 25, 35, 45, and 55 mm were compared for delineated length of the esophagus and image quality.ResultsThe T1-FFE sequences provided higher SNRs and better image quality than the TFE sequences (T1-FFE: 89.4 ± 28.0, TFE: 52.4 ± 16.7; P < 0.001). Artifacts were less prominent and delineation of the esophageal wall was better on the T1-FFE images. The delineation of the esophageal wall was best with a 35-mm slice thickness, although delineated length was the longest with a 55-mm slice thickness.ConclusionThis study showed T1-FFE to be a more suitable sequence than TFE and that the 35-mm slice thickness was the optimum slice thickness for esophageal MR fluoroscopy.

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