The value of in-phase and opposed-phase T1-weighted breath-hold FLASH sequences for hepatic imaging
The value of the combined in-phase (IP) and opposed-phase (OP) T1-weighted (T1-W) breath-hold FLASH sequences for hepatic imaging, especially for fat content, was evaluated. Non-contrast-enhanced IP and OP T1-W GRE breath-hold images were obtained in 76 patients refereed for abdominal MRI at 1. 5T. 76 patients were divided into three groups for analysis: (1) liver without mass (n=8); (2) liver with hepatoma (n=34); (3) liver with haemangioma or cyst (n=34). Liver/spleen and liver/lesion signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were assessed for lesion detection. Images between IP and OP sequences were compared quantitatively. The results showed that there was not statistically significant difference in liver/spleen and liver/lesion SNR between IP and OP sequences. In the patients with fatty infiltration, the OP sequences yielded substantially lower values for liver/spleen and liver/lesion SNR than those of the IP sequences. Furthermore, OP imaging showed fatty infiltration in 14 cases and demonstrated hyperintense peritumor rim in 4 cases. In 14 cases of fatty infiltration, many lesions were identified using IP images. The use of IP and OP GRE sequences provides complementary diagnostic information for hepatic lesions and fat content. Focal hepatic lesions may be obscured in the setting of fatty infiltration if only OP sequences are employed. A complete assessment of the liver with MR should include both IP and OP imaging.
Key wordsmagnetic resonance imaging liver neoplasms chemical shift imaging
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