Clinical evaluation of further-developed MRCP sequences in comparison with standard MRCP sequences
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The purpose of this study was the comparison of technically improved single-shot magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) sequences with standard single-shot rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) and half-Fourier acquired single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE) sequences in evaluating the normal and abnormal biliary duct system. The bile duct system of 45 patients was prospectively investigated on a 1.5-T MRI system. The investigation was performed with RARE and HASTE MR cholangiography sequences with standard and high spatial resolutions, and with a delayed-echo half-Fourier RARE (HASTE) sequence. Findings of the improved MRCP sequences were compared with the standard MRCP sequences. The level of confidence in assessing the diagnosis was divided into five groups. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test at a level of p<0.05 was applied. In 15 patients no pathology was found. The MRCP showed stenoses of the bile duct system in 10 patients and choledocholithiasis and cholecystolithiasis in 16 patients. In 12 patients a dilatation of the bile duct system was found. Comparison of the low- and high spatial resolution sequences and the short and long TE times of the half-Fourier RARE (HASTE) sequence revealed no statistically significant differences regarding accuracy of the examination. The diagnostic confidence level in assessing normal or pathological findings for the high-resolution RARE and half-Fourier RARE (HASTE) was significantly better than for the standard sequences. For the delayed-echo half-Fourier RARE (HASTE) sequence no statistically significant difference was seen. The high-resolution RARE and half-Fourier RARE (HASTE) sequences had a higher confidence level, but there was no significant difference in diagnosis in terms of detection and assessment of pathological changes in the biliary duct system compared with standard sequences.
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