Usefulness of turbo spin-echo MR imaging in the evaluation of meniscal tears: Comparison with a conventional spin-echo sequence

Eva M Escobedo, John C Hunter, Gordon C. Zink-Brody, Anthony J. Wilson, Scott D. Harrison, David J. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Fast (turbo) spin-echo imaging techniques have replaced conventional spin-echo protocols in a large proportion of MR applications, with the principle advantage of decreased imaging time. The choice of echo train length is a key determinant of time savings realized, but the echo train length can also adversely affect image quality if too many echoes are incorporated into an image. Several recent studies have shown conflicting results regarding the usefulness of turbo spin-echo imaging in the evaluation of meniscal tears. We compare a turbo spin-echo sequence that has an echo train length of five with a conventional spin-echo sequence for evaluating meniscal tears. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Forty knees in 39 consecutive patients referred for MR study of the knee were imaged using both conventional spin- echo and turbo spin-echo sequences. The turbo spin-echo sequence provided both proton density-weighted and T2-weighted images (dual echo technique) with an effective echo-train length of five. Nineteen knees (38 menisci) were studied arthroscopically. The arthroscopic findings were considered the reference standard. Spin-echo and turbo spin-echo images were reviewed retrospectively, and results were compared statistically. RESULTS. Of the 80 menisci evaluated with MR imaging, spin-echo and turbo spin-echo images provided concordant results in 95% of cases, with no statistically significant difference found between the two techniques (p < .05). Seventeen tears were found at arthroscopy in 38 menisci studied. Spin-echo and turbo spin-echo imaging had identical specificities (90%) and similar sensitivities (88% and 82%, respectively). CONCLUSION. This study shows that proton density-weighted sequences with an echo train length of five preserve sufficient high-spatial-frequency information to provide performance similar to that of conventional spin-echo sequences. Our data support the conclusion that fast spin-echo imaging with short echo train length is a reasonable substitute for conventional spin-echo imaging in the evaluation of the knee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1227
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Volume167
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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