Clinical Impact of 3-Dimensional Balanced Turbo-Field-Echo Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography at 3 T: Prospective Intraindividual Comparison With 3-Dimensional Turbo-Spin-Echo Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of 3-dimensional (3D) balanced turbo-field-echo (BTFE) magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) with gate and track acquisition at 3 T.


Using a 3-T unit, we subjected 52 consecutive patients to 3D BTFE MRCP with the navigator-gated technique and 3D turbo-spin-echo volume isotropic T2-weighted acquisition (VISTA) MRCP with the navigator-triggered technique. Two radiologists independently rated the image quality and visibility of the right and left hepatic duct, cystic duct, common bile duct, gallbladder, and main pancreatic duct using a 4-point scale. The signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio, and the acquisition time were evaluated by quantitative analysis.


The visual scores of the cystic duct, common bile duct, gallbladder, and overall image quality were significantly higher for BTFE than VISTA MRCP (P < 0.01). The score for the main pancreatic duct was significantly higher with VISTA MRCP (P < 0.01). The image acquisition time was significantly shorter with BTFE than VISTA MRCP (139.8 ± 45.4 vs 416.9 ± 108.3 seconds, P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio.


Three-dimensional BTFE MRCP yields significantly better image quality and visibility of large biliary structures than VISTA MRCP at a significantly shorter acquisition time. Volume isotropic T2-weighted acquisition MRCP provides detailed information on the main pancreatic duct that tends to be obscure on the 3D BTFE sequence.

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