Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain with gadopentetate dimeglumine-DTPA: Comparison of T1-weighted spin-echo and 3D gradient-echo sequences
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Short TR, short TE, high resolution, 3D gradient-recalled echo (GRE) imaging was evaluated for lesion detection in the brain. High resolution 3D GRE data acquisition was used to reduce partial volume effects and flow artifacts, to better visualize smaller structures, to minimize signal losses caused by field inhomogeneities, and to allow better image reformatting. Spin-echo (SE) and 3D GRE approaches were compared for lesion detection after the administration of an MR contrast agent, gadopentetate dimeglumine. Preliminary clinical studies demonstrated that the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in each slice of the GRE scan was worse than that of the SE scan because of the much thicker slices acquired with the SE technique. However, by averaging two adjacent 3D slices, the SNR of the two methods was essentially equivalent. In the averaged GRE slices, large lesions were seen just as well as in the SE images. More importantly, small lesions were better visualized in the thin 3D GRE images than in the thick SE images for the lesions studied in this work and the protocols used. These observations were confirmed by theoretical simulations.
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