Background. Clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has recently entered the "high-field" era, and systems equipped with 3.0-4.0T superconductive magnets are becoming the gold standard for diagnostic imaging. While higher signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) is a definite advantage of higher field systems, higher susceptibility effect remains to be a significant trade-off. To take advantage of a higher field system in performing routine clinical images of higher anatomical resolution, we implemented a vector contrast image technique to 3.0T imaging, three-dimensional anisotropy contrast (3DAC), with a PROPELLER (Periodically Rotated Overlapping Parallel Lines with Enhanced Reconstruction) sequence, a method capable of effectively eliminating undesired artifacts on rapid diffusion imaging sequences. Methods. One hundred subjects (20 normal volunteers and 80 volunteers with various central nervous system diseases) participated in the study. Anisotropic diffusion-weighted PROPELLER images were obtained on a General Electric (Waukesha, WI, USA) Signa 3.0T for each axis, with b-value of 1100 sec/mm 2. Subsequently, 3DAC images were constructed using in-house software written on MATLAB (MathWorks, Natick, MA, USA). Results. The vector contrast allows for providing exquisite anatomical detail illustrated by clear identification of all major tracts through the entire brain. 3DAC images provide better anatomical resolution for brainstem glioma than higher-resolution T2 reversed images. Degenerative processes of disease-specific tracts were clearly identified as illustrated in cases of multiple system atrophy and Joseph-Machado disease. Conclusion. Anatomical images of significantly higher resolution than the best current standard, T2 reversed images, were successfully obtained. As a technique readily applicable under routine clinical setting, 3DAC PROPELLER on a 3.0T system will be a powerful addition to diagnostic imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology