Kinetic MRI using high-speed sequence to evaluate swallowing
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The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ability of high-speed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to dynamically capture images during the swallowing process and compare the results with videofluorography.
Ten subjects underwent both videofluorography and kinetic MRI, which was used in a high-speed sequence mode known as “turbo-fast low-angle shot (turbo-FLASH)” using prune extract (Miki prune®: Miki Corporation) as the contrast medium. Three radiologists assessed 18 agreed-upon items in the kinetic MR images with respect to the oral and pharyngeal phases.
Kinetic MRI provided high-quality images of the direct visualization of the soft tissue during swallowing. In the oral phase, the motion of the lip, tongue, and soft palate and keeping of the contrast medium were scored higher than the equivalent videofluorographic images. The motion of the mandible and the transport to the dorsum of the tongue were evaluated as approximately the same between the two methods, and the import of the contrast medium to the oral cavity, the transport to the pharynx, and the keeping of the contrast medium were inferior to the equivalent videofluorographic images. In the pharyngeal phase, the motion of the soft palate and the tongue base were depicted approximately the same as in the videofluorographic images. The hyoid bone, the elevating and closing of the larynx, the wave of the pharynx, the opening of the pharyngo-esophageal segment, and the passage and keeping of the contrast medium were depicted less clearly than in videofluorography.
Despite some limitations, high-speed kinetic MRI is a promising tool for evaluating swallowing features, as it directly provides anatomical and functional information during the entire course of swallowing using prune extract as the contrast medium.
Key WordsSwallowing Kinetic MRI Videofluorography Contrast medium
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