European Radiology

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 3721–3728 | Cite as

GRASE Revisited: breath-hold three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography using a Gradient and Spin Echo (GRASE) technique at 3T

  • Ju Gang Nam
  • Jeong Min Lee
  • Hyo-Jin Kang
  • Sang Min Lee
  • Eunju Kim
  • Johannes M. Peeters
  • Jeong Hee YoonEmail author
Magnetic Resonance



To evaluate the clinical feasibility and image quality of breath-hold (BH) three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) using a gradient and spin-echo (GRASE) technique compared to the conventional 3D respiratory-triggered (RT)-MRCP using a turbo spin-echo (TSE) sequence at 3 T.


Sixty-six patients underwent both 3D RT-TSE-MRCP and 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP at 3 T. Three radiologists independently reviewed the visualisation of biliary and pancreatic ducts, image blurring, and overall image quality of the two data sets using four- or five-point scales. The numbers of scans with non-diagnostic or poor image quality were compared between the two scans.


The 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP had a significantly better image quality (3.69 ± 0.77 vs. 3.30 ± 1.18, p = 0.005) and less image blurring (3.23 ± 0.94 vs. 3.65 ± 0.57, p = 0.0003) than the 3D RT-TSE-MRCP. In detail, 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP better depicted the common bile duct, cystic duct, and bilateral first intrahepatic duct (all ps < 0.05). The number of scans with non-diagnostic or poor image quality significantly decreased with 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP compared with 3D RT-TSE-MRCP [19.7% (13/66) vs. 1.5% (1/66), p = 0.002].


The 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP provided better image quality and a reduced number of non-diagnostic images compared to 3D RT-TSE-MRCP.

Key points

• The GRASE technique enabled 3D MRCP acquisition within a single breath-hold.

• The short acquisition time of 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP significantly reduced image blurring.

• The 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP had a better image quality than 3D RT-TSE-MRCP.

• The number of non-diagnostic scans was reduced with 3D BH-GRASE-MRCP.


Breath holding Magnetic resonance imaging Cholangiography Imaging, Three-dimensional Biliary tract 





Common Bile Duct


Echo Planar Imaging


Field of View


Gradient and Spin Echo


Intrahepatic Duct


Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography




Turbo Spin-Echo


Signal-to-Noise Ratio



The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Jeong Hee Yoon.

Conflict of interest

Two authors (E. Kim, J. Peeters) are employees of Philips Healthcare. Other authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board.

Ethical approval

Seoul National University Hospital Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• retrospective

• case-control study

• performed at one institution

Supplementary material

330_2017_5275_MOESM1_ESM.docx (301 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 300 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Institute of Radiation MedicineSeoul National University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.College of MedicineSeoul National University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Institute of Radiation MedicineSeoul National University Medical Research CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.RadiologyHallym University Sacred Heart HospitalGyeonggi-doKorea
  5. 5.Philips Healthcare KoreaSeoulRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Philips MR Clinical ScienceBestThe Netherlands

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