Quantitative and qualitative characterization of vascularization and hemodynamics in head and neck tumors with a 3D magnetic resonance time-resolved echo-shared angiographic technique (TREAT)—initial results
The purpose of this paper is to characterize and quantify the vascularization and hemodynamic characteristics of head and neck tumors (HNT) with a dynamic 3D time-resolved echo-shared angiographic technique (TREAT) using the regular contrast agent (CA) bolus. Sixteen patients with HNT underwent 3D-TREAT during the CA administration on a 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) scanner. Using a parallel imaging acceleration factor of 2, 20 3D data sets at a temporal resolution of 2.3 s/frame were acquired. The quality of tumor delineation, vascularization type, and enhancement pattern were evaluated. Quantitative assessment included measurement of the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), determination of signal-intensity-over-time (SIT) curves, time-to-peak enhancement within the carotid arteries and the tumor, and the delay between both. TREAT was compared to conventional digital subtraction angiography (DSA) in six patients. Tumor delineation with TREAT was very good or good in 11/16 patients, and better with TREAT than with DSA in 3/6 cases. The CNR was significantly different for glomus tumors versus hypovascularized malignant tumors with TREAT (p=0.0001), but not on T1-weighted gradient echo (T1w GE) images. Qualitative assessment of tumor vascularization on dynamic TREAT shows good correlation (r=0.75) to quantitative SIT curves. We conclude that TREAT imaging permits the characterization of tumor vascularity and holds promise as a supplementary diagnostic tool in the differential diagnosis of HNT.
KeywordsTime-resolved MRA View sharing Head and neck tumors Paraganglioma Parallel imaging
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