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Renz, Diane M.; Herrmann, Karl-Heinz; Kraemer, Martin; Boettcher, Joachim; Waginger, Matthias; Krueger, Paul-Christian; Pfeil, Alexander; Streitparth, Florian; Kentouche, Karim; Gruhn, Bernd; Mainz, Jochen G.; Stenzel, Martin; Teichgraeber, Ulf K.; Reichenbach, Jürgen R. and Mentzel, Hans-Joachim (2021): Ultrashort echo time MRI of the lung in children and adolescents: comparison with non-enhanced computed tomography and standard post-contrast T1w MRI sequences. In: European Radiology, Vol. 32, No. 3: pp. 1833-1842

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Objectives To compare the diagnostic value of ultrashort echo time (UTE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the lung versus the gold standard computed tomography (CT) and two T1-weighted MRI sequences in children. Methods Twenty-three patients with proven oncologic disease (14 male, 9 female;mean age 9.0 + / - 5.4 years) received 35 low-dose CT and MRI examinations of the lung. The MRI protocol (1.5-T) included the following post-contrast sequences: two-dimensional (2D) incoherent gradient echo (GRE;acquisition with breath-hold), 3D volume interpolated GRE (breath-hold), and 3D high-resolution radial UTE sequences (performed during free-breathing). Images were evaluated by considering image quality as well as distinct diagnosis of pulmonary nodules and parenchymal areal opacities with consideration of sizes and characterisations. Results The UTE technique showed significantly higher overall image quality, better sharpness, and fewer artefacts than both other sequences. On CT, 110 pulmonary nodules with a mean diameter of 4.9 + / - 2.9 mm were detected. UTE imaging resulted in a significantly higher detection rate compared to both other sequences (p < 0.01): 76.4% (84 of 110 nodules) for UTE versus 60.9% (67 of 110) for incoherent GRE and 62.7% (69 of 110) for volume interpolated GRE sequences. The detection of parenchymal areal opacities by the UTE technique was also significantly higher with a rate of 93.3% (42 of 45 opacities) versus 77.8% (35 of 45) for 2D GRE and 80.0% (36 of 45) for 3D GRE sequences (p < 0.05). Conclusion The UTE technique for lung MRI is favourable in children with generally high diagnostic performance compared to standard T1-weighted sequences as well as CT.

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