OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of performing MR imaging of the chest using a fat-suppressed gadolinium-enhanced modified three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo technique with a volumetric interpolated breath-hold (VIB) sequence compared with using a standard two-dimensional (2D) breath-hold gradient-echo technique. MR images obtained using both techniques were compared with multidetector CT (MDCT) scans. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Paired gadolinium-enhanced 2D gradient-echo and 3D gradient-echo VIB images were acquired in 15 consecutive patients with suspected intrathoracic abnormalities. MDCT scans were available for comparison in 12 patients. Two reviewers independently analyzed the MR images obtained using the two techniques for overall quality, the degree of artifacts, and visibility of mediastinal or parenchymal abnormalities. The detectability of lesions on the 3D gradient-echo VIB images and 2D gradient-echo images was compared with the detectability of lesions on CT scans obtained in nine patients. RESULTS. In all cases, the MR images obtained using the 3D gradient-echo technique with the VIB sequence were rated superior to those obtained using the 2D gradient-echo technique for quality, depiction of mediastinal structures, and clarity of pulmonary vessels and central airways. On the 3D gradient-echo VIB images, the degree of phase artifacts was lower (p < 0.00 1), but the degree of pixel graininess was higher (p < 0.05). Detectability, confidence and conspicuity levels, and marginal delineation of the pulmonary lesions were rated higher statistically on the 3D gradient-echo VIB images than on the 2D gradient-echo images. Of the 31 solid pulmonary abnormalities depicted on MDCT, 27 (87.1 %) were detected on the 3D gradient-echo VIB images, and 21 (67.7%) were seen on the 2D gradient-echo images (p < 0.05). The 3D gradient-echo VIB images showed all 14 mediastinal lesions (100%) seen on MDCT, whereas the 2D gradient-echo images showed 12 (85.7%) of the 14 lesions (p ≥ 0.05). CONCLUSION. The gadolinium-enhanced modified 3D gradient-echo technique with the VIB sequence provides MR images that are superior in quality, have significantly fewer artifacts, and have a higher sensitivity for the detection of intrathoracic lesions compared with images obtained using the standard 2D gradient-echo technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging