Comparison of wideband steady-state free precession and T 2-weighted fast spin echo in spine disorder assessment at 1.5 and 3 T

Giovanna S. Danagoulian, Lei Qin, Krishna S. Nayak, Rivka R. Colen, Srinivasan Mukundan, Mitchell B. Harris, Ferenc A. Jolesz, Ajit Shankaranarayanan, William A. Copen, Ehud J. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Wideband steady-state free precession (WB-SSFP) is a modification of balanced steady-state free precession utilizing alternating repetition times to reduce susceptibility-induced balanced steady-state free precession limitations, allowing its use for high-resolution myelographic-contrast spinal imaging. Intertissue contrast and spatial resolution of complete-spine-coverage 3D WB-SSFP were compared with those of 2D T2-weighted fast spin echo, currently the standard for spine T2-imaging. Six normal subjects were imaged at 1.5 and 3 T. The signal-to-noise ratio efficiency (SNR per unit-time and unit-volume) of several tissues was measured, along with four intertissue contrast-to-noise ratios; nerve-ganglia:fat, intradural-nerves:cerebrospinal fluid, nerve-ganglia:muscle, and muscle:fat. Patients with degenerative and traumatic spine disorders were imaged at both MRI fields to demonstrate WB-SSFP clinical advantages and disadvantages. At 3 T, WB-SSFP provided spinal contrast-to-noise ratios 3.7-5.2 times that of fast spin echo. At 1.5 T, WB-SSFP contrast-to-noise ratio was 3-3.5 times that of fast spin echo, excluding a 1.7 ratio for intradural-nerves:cerebrospinal fluid. WB-SSFP signal-to-noise ratio efficiency was also higher. Three-dimensional WB-SSFP disadvantages relative to 2D fast spin echo are reduced edema hyperintensity, reduced muscle signal, and higher motion sensitivity. WB-SSFP's high resolution and contrast-to-noise ratio improved visualization of intradural nerve bundles, foraminal nerve roots, and extradural nerve bundles, improving detection of nerve compression in radiculopathy and spinal-stenosis. WB-SSFP's high resolution permitted reformatting into orthogonal planes, providing distinct advantages in gauging fine spine pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1527-1535
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Volume68
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • MRI
  • Myelography
  • Spine
  • nerves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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