Nineteen consecutive patients with spinal intramedullary lesions were studied on a 1.5-T system to compare the quality of T2-weighted spin-echo and gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) pulse sequences. Direct comparisons were made in the sagittal and/or axial planes. Twenty-four studies were performed in the 19 patients. The gradient echoes were usually performed at 300/14 (TR/TE) with a flip angle of 10°. Although no significant diagnostic differences were noted in the sagittal plane, there was a distinct anatomic advantage for GRE imaging over spin-echo imaging in the axial plane. This is believed to be the result of CSF-time-of-flight effects in the slice-select direction, which are not compensated for by flow-compensating gradients on the spin-echo images, but which are insignificant in the GRE sequence used in this study. Pathology was seen equally well or better on GRE in 79% (19/24) of the sequences. In the other five cases, the spin-echo image showed a brighter intramedullary signal than that seen on GRE, although GRE showed the lesion in all cases. Our results indicate that properly optimized GRE imaging on a high-field-strength system can replace spin-echo imaging in the spine when intramedullary disease is suspected and that the benefits of GRE are most striking in the axial plane.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||American Journal of Neuroradiology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology