Is 3D MPRAGE better than the combination DIR/PSIR for cortical lesion detection at 3 T MRI?

Flavia Nelson, Aziz Poonawalla, Sushmita Datta, Jerry Wolinsky, Ponnada Narayana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Based on the application of newer magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisition sequences, the detection of cortical lesions (CL) in multiple sclerosis (MS) has significantly improved. Double inversion recovery (DIR) at 3 T has increased the detection sensitivity and classification specificity when combined with phase sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR). Previous findings with 3D magnetization prepared rapid acquisition with gradient echo (MPRAGE) sequences, showed improved classification specificity of purely intracortical (IC) and mixed (MX) lesions, compared to the classification based on DIR/PSIR. Direct comparison between the detection of CL by 3D MPRAGE and by DIR/PSIR at 3 T has not been evaluated. Methods Eleven subjects were imaged on a 3 T magnet. DIR/PSIR and 3D MPRAGE images were reviewed independently. Each image set was reviewed twice; only lesions detected on both sessions were scored. Review time per scan was ~5 min for DIR/PSIR and ~15 min for 3D MPRAGE. Results We identified 141 CL (62 IC+79 MX) based on DIR/PSIR images vs. 93 (38 IC+55 MX) based on MPRAGE from all eleven patients. MPRAGE under-detected the number of CL in seven cases and over-detected the number of CL in three, only one case had the same number of CL on both sets of images. Conclusions Combination DIR/PSIR at 3 T is superior to 3D MPRAGE for detection of cortical gray matter lesions in MS. The contrast-to-noise ratio of CL appears to be inferior on the MPRAGE images relative to DIR/PSIR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was primarily supported by NIH Grants R01 EB02095 (PAN) and S10 RR19186 (PAN).


  • Cortical lesions
  • DIR
  • Gray matter
  • MRI
  • Multiple Sclerosis


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