Post-contrast T1-weighted spine 3T MRI in children using a golden-angle radial acquisition

  • Houchun H. HuEmail author
  • Thomas Benkert
  • Mark Smith
  • Jeremy Y. Jones
  • Aaron S. McAllister
  • Jerome A. Rusin
  • Ramkumar Krishnamurthy
  • Kai Tobias Block
Paediatric Neuroradiology



MRI methods that have reduced sensitivity to motion are attractive in pediatric applications. In spine imaging, physiologic motion such as respiration and cerebrospinal fluid pulsation can hamper diagnostic image quality. We compare a 3D T1-weighted non-Cartesian radial acquisition with a conventional Cartesian 2D turbo-spin-echo (TSE) acquisition in axial post-contrast spine imaging at 3T.


Thirty-two patients (mean age 12.2 ± 5.3 years) scheduled for routine clinical spine exams with contrast were enrolled. Three pediatric neuroradiologists compared the two sequences and assessed the presence of motion, the conspicuity of nerve roots, and whether one of the sequences was preferred in visualizing pathology using Likert scales.


The Fleiss’ kappa statistic for inter-rater agreement was 0.29 (95% confidence interval, 0.15–0.43) for the presence of motion, 0.30 (0.21–0.38) for conspicuity, and 0.37 (0.19–0.55) for sequence preference. Radial images were less sensitive to motion than TSE (p < 0.01). Motion and consequent artifacts were present in all TSE cases, while it was absent in 51% of the radial cases. In depicting nerve roots, radial images were superior in the cervical (p < 0.05), thoracic (p < 0.01), and lumbar spines (p < 0.01). Lastly, in 28 of the 32 patients who demonstrated contrast-enhancing pathology, radial images were preferred in 51% of the cases, while both sequences were equally preferred in 41% of the cases.


We demonstrate the potential utility of radial MRI in post-contrast spine imaging. The free-breathing method is robust in generating diagnostic image quality and is superior in visualizing nerve roots and extramedullary metastases than traditional Cartesian TSE acquisitions.


Radial MRI Golden-angle Free-breathing Motion insensitivity Gadolinium Spine 



RAdial Volumetric Encoding




Cerebrospinal fluid


Confidence interval



The authors are grateful to Ning Jin, Chris Boyea, Stuart Schmeet, Christianne Leidecker, and Christian Eusemann from Siemens Healthineers for assistance and research support. The authors would like to thank all MRI technologists and staff of the Imaging Research Office at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for their assistance with the work.

Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this study.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

For this type of retrospective study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyNationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research, Department of RadiologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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