European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 1361–1366 | Cite as

Assessment of reduced field of view in diffusion tensor imaging of the lumbar nerve roots at 3 T

  • Jean-François BudzikEmail author
  • Sébastien Verclytte
  • Guillaume Lefebvre
  • Aurélien Monnet
  • Gerard Forzy
  • Anne Cotten
Magnetic Resonance



To assess the value of reduced field of view (rFOV) imaging in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography of the lumbar nerve roots at 3 T from the perspective of future clinical trials.


DTI images of the lumbar nerves were obtained in eight healthy volunteers, with and without the rFOV technique. Non-coplanar excitation and refocusing pulses associated with outer volume suppression (OVS) were used to achieve rFOV imaging. Tractography was performed. A visual evaluation of image quality was made by two observers, both senior musculoskeletal radiologists. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were measured in L5 and S1 roots.


rFOV images of the L5 and S1 roots were assessed as being superior to full FOV (fFOV) images. Image quality was rated as good to excellent by both observers. Interobserver agreement was good. No significant difference was found in FA and ADC measurements of the L5 or S1 roots. On the contrary, only poor-quality images could be obtained with fFOV imaging as major artefacts were present.


The rFOV approach was essential to achieve high-quality DTI imaging of lumbar nerve roots on 3-T MRI.

Key Points

Diffusion tensor 3-T MR imaging of lumbar nerve roots creates severe artefacts.

A reduced field of view drastically reduces artefacts, thereby improving image quality.

Good-quality tractography images can even be obtained with rFOV imaging.

rFOV DTI is better than fFOV DTI for clinical studies.


Magnetic resonance imaging Diffusion tensor imaging Peripheral nerves Echo planar imaging Lumbosacral region 

Abbreviations and Acronyms


apparent diffusion coefficient


diffusion tensor imaging


echo planar imaging


fractional anisotropy


full field of view


reduced field of view


outer volume suppression


region of interest


signal to noise ratio



The authors would like to thank Prof. Xavier Leclerc, PhD, from the Neuroradiology Department of the CHRU, who gave us access to the imaging platform of IFR 114– IMPRT, and Mr. David Chechin, PhD, Philips Healthcare, for his technical advice.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-François Budzik
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 9
  • Sébastien Verclytte
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
    • 9
  • Guillaume Lefebvre
    • 3
    • 6
    • 10
  • Aurélien Monnet
    • 7
    • 11
  • Gerard Forzy
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
    • 8
    • 12
  • Anne Cotten
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
    • 10
  1. 1.Groupe Hospitalier de l’Institut Catholique de Lille, Imagerie MédicaleLilleFrance
  2. 2.Faculté Libre de MédecineLilleFrance
  3. 3.Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Lille, Imagerie Musculo-squelettiqueLilleFrance
  4. 4.EA 4490 PMOI (Physiopathologie des Maladies Osseuses Inflammatoires) IFR 114 PRESUniversité Lille Nord de FranceLilleFrance
  5. 5.Université Catholique de LilleLilleFrance
  6. 6.Université Nord de FranceLilleFrance
  7. 7.Service de NeuroradiologieCHU de LilleLilleFrance
  8. 8.Laboratoire de biologie, département de biostatistiquesGroupe hospitalier de l’Institut Catholique de LilleLilleFrance
  9. 9.Service d’Imagerie MédicaleHôpital St Vincent de PaulLille CedexFrance
  10. 10.Service de Radiologie et Imagerie MusculosquelettiqueCentre de Consultations et d’Imagerie de l’Appareil LocomoteurLille CedexFrance
  11. 11.Service de NeuroradiologieHôpital Roger SalengroLille CedexFrance
  12. 12.Laboratoire de Biologie, département de biostatistiquesHôpital St PhilibertLommeFrance

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