Rationale and Objectives. The authors prospectively evaluated a T2-weighted, three-dimensional (3D) volume, fast spin-echo (SE) pulse sequence in assessment of the cervical spine and compared it with standard imaging protocol. Materials and Methods. Eighteen patients with neck pain underwent magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at 1.5 T with two-dimensional (2D) fast SE and axial 3D gradient-echo (GRE) protocols and with an additional sagittal T2-weighted volume fast SE protocol. The spinal cord and canal, neural foramina, and intervertebral disks were assessed by two neuroradiologists, and the results were compared with reports from the standard protocol. The quality of the partition (direct sagittal) and reconstructed images were evaluated. Results. No differences existed in the assessment of spinal cord disease or disk herniation with 2D fast SE and volume fast SE imaging. Some mild variation occurred in assessment of the neural foramina. Partition images demonstrated a high level of resolution and contrast, while reconstructed images had consistently lower quality. However, this did not impede detection and grading of disk or spinal abnormalities, which were adequately shown on volume fast SE sagittal images. Neural foramina were well demonstrated on axial reconstructions from volume fast SE imaging. Conclusion. Volume fast SE imaging provides information about the spinal cord, canal, disks, and neural foramina that is comparable to the information provided by routine imaging. Its thinner sections and multiplanar reconstruction capability are advantages over 2D imaging. Its greater tissue contrast with better visualization of the cervical cord, greater signal-to-noise ratio, and less susceptibility artifact are advantages over 3D GRE imaging.
- Magnetic resonance (MR), pulse sequences
- Magnetic resonance (MR), three-dimensional
- Spine, MR
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging