3D Spiral Sequence Overcomes Conventional Challenges for Head and Neck MRI

Leesburg, VA, August 25, 2021According to an open-access Editor’s Choice article in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), a 3D spiral gradient recalled echo (GRE) sequence could help conquer certain challenges of conventional Cartesian sequences for head and neck MRI.

“3D spiral GRE improves subjective image quality and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of head and neck MRI with shorter scan time versus Cartesian sequences, though exhibits larger dental material artifact,” wrote corresponding author Sabine Sartoretti-Schefer from the Institute of Radiology at Kantonsspital Winterthur in Switzerland.

From August 2020 to May 2021, Sartoretti-Schefer and team prospectively studied patients referred for contrast-enhanced head and neck MRI. Patients underwent 1.5-T MRI (Ingenia; Philips Healthcare, Best, the Netherlands), including contrast-enhanced [Gadovist (Gadobutrol) 1.0 mmol/mL, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, 0.1 mL/kg body weight] spiral GRE (2:28 min), Cartesian GRE (4:27 min), and Cartesian turbo spin echo (TSE) (3:41 min) sequences, acquired in rotating order to mitigate bias.

Among 31 patients (13 male, 18 female; mean age, 63.8 years) who underwent head and neck MRI, spiral GRE, compared with Cartesian GRE and Cartesian TSE, achieved improved image quality for numerous subjective measures for three independent readers and improved CNR, with 33.0%–44.6% reduced scan time. However, maximal extent of dental material artifact was greatest for spiral GRE.

Reiterating that the 3D spiral GRE sequence “exhibited larger susceptibility artifacts in association with dental material,” the authors of this AJR article expressed special consideration for patients with dental implants or fillings.

An electronic supplement to this AJR article is available here.

Founded in 1900, the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) is the first and oldest radiological society in North America, dedicated to the advancement of medicine through the profession of radiology and its allied sciences. An international forum for progress in medical imaging since the discovery of the x-ray, ARRS maintains its mission of improving health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills with an annual scientific meeting, monthly publication of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), quarterly issues of InPractice magazine, AJR Live Webinars and Podcasts, topical symposia, print and online educational materials, as well as awarding scholarships via The Roentgen Fund®.