Is simultaneous multisection turbo spin echo ready for clinical MRI? A feasibility study on fast imaging of knee lesions.


Department of Radiology, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Hebei Province Biomechanical Key Laboratory of Orthopedics, Shijiazhuang, China. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To evaluate the image quality and diagnostic accuracy of simultaneous multiple-section (SMS) turbo spin echo (TSE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with gradient-based "controlled aliasing in parallel imaging results in higher acceleration" (CAIPIRINHA) for lesions of the knee.
METHODS : This prospective study included 10 healthy volunteers and 20 patients scanned at 3 T using SMS (a prototype) and conventional TSE sequences for T1 and proton-density (PD)-weighted imaging (with fat saturation). MRI images of volunteers were evaluated using a five-point score based on artefacts, and visualisation of the bone, cartilage, ligaments, and menisci. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) of ligament/bone, meniscus/bone, and cartilage/bone on T1-weighted images, as well as ligament/effusion, meniscus/effusion, cartilage/effusion, and bone/effusion on PD-weighted images (with fat saturation) were compared for better contrast. The SMS images for diagnosis of lesions of the knee were also evaluated using another five-point score: image sharpness, depiction of lesions, relationship to surrounding structures, and overall artefacts in the lesions.
RESULTS : Compared to conventional TSE sequences, SMS provides similar diagnostic accuracy with significantly reduced scan time. Furthermore, qualitative and quantitative analysis showed a comparable image quality between these two sequences except for the aliasing artefacts near the coil edges and CNR of cartilage/bone in T1-weighted images in SMS.
CONCLUSIONS : Compared to conventional TSE sequences, SMS requires shorter scan times and offers similar image quality and diagnostic accuracy. SMS is valuable for MRI examinations of the knee.

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