3D MRI: Technical Considerations and Practical Integration

Filippo Del Grande, Natalie Hinterholzer, Daniel Nanz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


One of the main advantages of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the possibility of isotropic voxels and reconstructed planar cuts through the volumetric data set in any orientation with multiplanar reformation software through real-time evaluation. For example, reformats by the radiologist during reporting allows exploitation of the full potential of isotropic 3D volumetric acquisition or through standardized retrospective reformats of thicker predefined slices of an isotropic volumetric data set by technologists. The main challenges for integrating 3D fast spin echo (FSE) and turbo spin-echo (TSE) MRI in clinical practice are a long acquisition time and some artifacts, whereas for integrating 3D gradient-recalled echo protocols, the main challenges are lower signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and the inability to produce intermediate, and T2-weighted contrast. The implementation of bidirectional parallel imaging acquisition and random undersampling acceleration strategies of 3D TSE pulse sequences substantially shortens the examination time with only minor SNR reductions. This article provides an overview of general technical considerations of 3D FSE and TSE sequences in musculoskeletal MRI. It also describes how these sequences achieve efficient data acquisition and reviews the main advantages and challenges for their introduction to clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D imaging
  • gradient-recalled echo sequences
  • musculoskeletal imaging
  • spin echo sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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