Magnetization transfer contrast MRI of musculoskeletal neoplasms
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations were performed in 15 patients with musculoskeletal neoplasms to assess the value of magnetization transfer contrast in tumor characterization. Multiplanar gradient-recalled echo sequences (TR 500-600/TE 15-20/flip angle 20–30°) were performed first without and then with magnetization transfer contrast generated by a zero degree binomial pulse (MPGR and MTMPGR). Standard T1-weighted spin echo images (SE; TR 300-400/TE 12-20) and either T2-weighted SE (TR 2000-2900/TE 70-80) or T2-weighted fast spin echo (FSE; TR 4000-5000/TE 100–119 effective) images were also obtained. Signal intensities on MTMPGR scans were compared to those on MPGR scans for both tumors and normal tissues. Signal intensity ratios (SIR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) were also compared for all sequences. MTMPGR images provided better contrast between pathologic tissues and muscle than did standard MPGR images, increasing both conspicuity of lesions and definition of tumor/muscle interfaces. Benign and malignant tumors, with the exception of lipoma, underwent similar degrees of magnetization transfer and could not be distinguished by this technique.
Key wordsMagnetic resonance Magnetization transfer contrast Neoplasms, musculoskeletal
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