, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 634-641
Date: 14 Oct 2005

MRI of the pelvis at 3 T: very high spatial resolution with sensitivity encoding and flip-angle sweep technique in clinically acceptable scan time

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Abstract

Objective

The higher signal at 3.0-T allows spatial resolution to be increased without loss in image quality. We evaluated a T2-weighted turbo spin-echo sequence with high spatial resolution (3T-HR) to determine whether this provides clinically useful pelvic MRI.

Materials and methods

We designed a sequence with high spatial resolution (3T-HR) (0.45×0.46×4 mm) that was combined with parallel imaging and the variable refocusing angle technique (8.06 min). We examined 23 patients with gynecological disorders using 3T-HR and a standard sequence (3T-SP; 4.03 min; equivalent to 1.5 T). Two radiologists analyzed tissue contrast, signal to noise, detail delineation and artifact level.

Results

Tissue contrasts and signal to noise were rated equal. Motion artifacts occurred more often with 3T-SP despite the longer scanning time of 3T-HR. The higher spatial resolution provided additional information in four patients. In two patients small myomas were detected, in one patient a lymph node metastasis was apparent, and in one patient 3T-HR excluded tumor invasion.

Conclusions

High spatial resolution pelvic studies with high image quality can be obtained at 3 T in acceptable scan time. The higher spatial resolution that is feasible at 3 T also provides more clinically relevant information.