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A robust 3D fast spin-echo technique for fast examination of the brachial plexus



To introduce a 3D fast spin-echo (FSE) sequence technique that may replace conventional clinical 2D FSE sequences for examining the brachial plexus.

Materials and methods

A 3D FSE sequence with motion-sensitized driven equilibrium magnitude preparation, triple-echo Dixon, and outer-volume suppression techniques, dubbed as MSDE-CUBE-fTED, was compared with clinical 2D T2-weighted and T1-weighted FSE sequences on the conventional brachial plexus exam of 14 volunteers. The resulting images were evaluated by two radiologists for fat suppression, blood flow suppression, nerve visualization, scalene muscle shape, surrounding fat planes, and diagnostic confidence. The inter-rater agreement of the reviewers was also measured. In addition, the signal magnitude ratios and contrast-to-noise ratios between nerve-to-vessel, nerve-to-muscle, and fat-to-muscle were compared.


The MSDE-CUBE-fTED sequence scored significantly higher than the T2-weighed FSE sequence in all visualization categories (P < 0.05). Its score was not significantly different from that of the T1-weighted FSE in muscle and fat visualization (P ≥ 0.5). The inter-rater agreements were substantial (Gwet’s agreement coefficient ≥ 0.7). The signal magnitude and contrast ratios were significantly higher in the MSDE-CUBE-fTED sequence (P < 0.05).


Our results suggest that the MSDE-CUBE-fTED sequence can make a potential alternative to standard T2- and T1-weighted FSE sequences for examining the brachial plexus.

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We thank Dr. Jarrett Rosenberg for the assistance with statistical processing. This work was supported by GE Healthcare and NIH P41 EB015891.


This study was supported by GE Healthcare and NIH P41 EB015891.

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Correspondence to Amelie M. Lutz.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

Daehyun Yoon received research support from GE Healthcare regarding the development of the presented work. The remaining authors, Neha Antil, Sandip Biswal, and Amelie Lutz, have no conflict of interest.

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Yoon, D., Antil, N., Biswal, S. et al. A robust 3D fast spin-echo technique for fast examination of the brachial plexus. Skeletal Radiol 51, 1865–1872 (2022).

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  • MSDE
  • 3D FSE
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Brachial plexus