Abdominal MRI at 3.0 T: LAVA-flex compared with conventional fat suppression T1-weighted images

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Abstract

Purpose:

To study liver imaging with volume acceleration-flexible (LAVA-Flex) for abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 3.0 T and compare the image quality of abdominal organs between LAVA-Flex and fast spoiled gradient-recalled (FSPGR) T1-weighted imaging.

Materials and Methods:

Our Institutional Review Board approval was obtained in this retrospective study. Sixty-nine subjects had both FSPGR and LAVA-Flex sequences. Two radiologists independently scored the acquisitions for image quality, fat suppression quality, and artifacts and the values obtained were compared with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. According to the signal intensity (SI) measurements, the uniformity of fat suppression, the contrast between muscle and fat and normal liver and liver lesions were compared by the paired t-test. The liver and spleen SI on the fat-only phase were analyzed in the fatty liver patients.

Results:

Compared with FSPGR imaging, LAVA-Flex images had better and more homogenous fat suppression and lower susceptibility artifact (qualitative scores: 4.70 vs. 4.00, 4.86% vs. 7.14%, 4.60 and 4.10, respectively). The contrast between muscle and fat and between the liver and pathologic lesions was significantly improved on the LAVA-Flex sequence. The contrast value of the fatty liver and spleen was higher than that of the liver and spleen.

Conclusion:

The LAVA-Flex sequence offers superior and more homogenous fat suppression of the abdomen than does the FSPGR sequence. The fat-only phase can be a simple and effective method of assessing fatty liver. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2014;40:58–66. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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