Comparison of Sagittal FSE T2, STIR, and T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery in the detection of spinal cord lesions in MS at 3T

Paula Alcaide-Leon, A. Pauranik, L. Alshafai, S. Rawal, Jiwon Oh, W. Montanera, G. Leung, A. Bharatha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Determining the diagnostic accuracy of different MR sequences is essential to design MR imaging protocols. The purpose of the study was to compare 3T sagittal FSE T2, STIR, and T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery in the detection of spinal cord lesions in patients with suspected or definite MS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 38 patients with suspected or definite MS. Involvement of the cervical and thoracic cord segments was recorded on sagittal FSE T2, STIR, and T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery sequences independently by 2 readers. A consensus criterion standard read was performed with all sequences available. Sensitivity, specificity, and interobserver agreement were calculated for each sequence. RESULTS: In the cervical cord, the sensitivity of T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery (96.2%) and STIR (89.6%) was significantly higher (P < .05) than that of FSE T2 (50.9%), but no significant difference was found between T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery and STIR. In the thoracic cord, sensitivity values were 93.8% for STIR, 71.9% for FSE T2, and 50.8% for T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery. Significant differences were found for all comparisons (P < .05). No differences were detected in specificity. Poor image quality and lower sensitivity of thoracic T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery compared with the other 2 sequences were associated with a thicker back fat pad. CONCLUSIONS: The use of an additional sagittal sequence other than FSE T2 significantly increases the detection of cervical and thoracic spinal cord lesions in patients with MS at 3T. In the cervical segment, both STIR and T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery offer high sensitivity and specificity, whereas in the thoracic spine, STIR performs better than T1-weighted phase-sensitive inversion recovery, particularly in patients with a thick dorsal fat pad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-975
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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