Fat-suppressed T2* sequences for routine 3.0-Tesla lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging: A preliminary report

A. M. McKinney, S. Gadani, C. S. Palmer, L. Vidarsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Clear depiction of the ligamentum flavum on routine lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is essential in accurately describing the extent of degenerative disease. In routine, noncontrast evaluations, focal fatty deposition or hemangiomas can be difficult to distinguish from malignant foci on fast spin-echo (FSE) T2-weighted images. Purpose: To describe the use of T2* fast field echo (T2FFE) in combination with spectral presaturation inversion recovery (SPIR) fat suppression for noncontrast, routine lumbar spine outpatient MR imaging at 3.0 Tesla (3T). Material and Methods: An axial gradient echo (GE) T2FFE sequence was combined with SPIR fat suppression (T2FFE-SPIR), via a 3T Philips Intera (Philips Medical Systems, Best, The Netherlands) scanner, and added to the routine, noncontrast lumbar MRI examinations, which included sagittal FSE T1-weighted (T1WI), T2-weighted (T2WI), short-tau inversion recovery (STIR), and axial FSE T2WI. The sequence was performed in over 500 patients over a 1-year period, without intravenous contrast, and with slice thickness and planes of section identical to the axial FSE T1WI and T2WI images. The sequence typically lasted about 4.5-6 min. Results: The use of T2FFE-SPIR enabled visualization of the ligamentum flavum in degenerative disease, and the exclusion of focal fatty lesions on FSE T2WI. Other benefits included: the identification of malignant foci, the uncommon detection of hemorrhage, and the elimination of spurious flow voids. Several brief examples are provided to demonstrate the utility of this technique. Conclusion: The addition of T2FFE-SPIR to routine, noncontrast protocols in outpatients could provide further confidence in the visualization of the ligamentum flavum in degenerative disease, and can exclude malignancy in T2-bright areas of focal fatty marrow. Larger studies would be helpful to evaluate the accuracy of this technique versus FSE techniques in depicting degenerative, malignant, or inflammatory disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-794
Number of pages5
JournalActa Radiologica
Volume49
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 2008

Keywords

  • Fat suppression
  • Gradient echo
  • Lumbar
  • MRI
  • SPIR
  • Spine
  • T2 weighted

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