Improved T2* imaging without increase in scan time: SWI processing of 2D gradient echo

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: 2D gradient-echo imaging is sensitive to T2* lesions (hemorrhages, mineralization, and vascular lesions), and susceptibility-weighted imaging is even more sensitive, but at the cost of additional scan time (SWI: 5-10 minutes; 2D gradient-echo: 2 minutes). The long acquisition time of SWI may pose challenges in motion-prone patients. We hypothesized that 2D SWI/phase unwrapped images processed from 2D gradient-echo imaging could improve T2* lesion detection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 2D gradient-echo brain images of 50 consecutive pediatric patients (mean age, 8 years) acquired at 3T were retrospectively processed to generate 2D SWI/phase unwrapped images. The 2D gradient-echo and 2D SWI/phase unwrapped images were compared for various imaging parameters and were scored in a blinded fashion. RESULTS: Of 50 patients, 2D gradient-echo imaging detected T2* lesions in 29 patients and had normal findings in 21 patients. 2D SWI was more sensitive than standard 2D gradient-echo imaging in detecting T2* lesions (P < .0001). 2D SWI/phase unwrapped imaging also improved delineation of normal venous structures and nonpathologic calcifications and helped distinguish calcifications from hemorrhage. A few pitfalls of 2D SWI/phase unwrapped imaging were noted, including worsened motion and dental artifacts and challenges in detecting T2* lesions adjacent to calvaria or robust deoxygenated veins. CONCLUSIONS: 2D SWI and associated phase unwrapped images processed from standard 2D gradient-echo images were more sensitive in detecting T2* lesions and delineating normal venous structures and nonpathologic mineralization, and they also helped distinguish calcification at no additional scan time. SWI processing of 2D gradient-echo images may be a useful adjunct in cases in which longer scan times of 3D SWI are difficult to implement.

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APA

Soman, S., Holdsworth, S. J., Barnes, P. D., Rosenberg, J., Andre, J. B., Bammer, R., & Yeom, K. W. (2013). Improved T2* imaging without increase in scan time: SWI processing of 2D gradient echo. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 34(11), 2092–2097. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A3595

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