Effect of echo time pair selection on quantitative analysis for adrenal tumor characterization with in-phase and opposed-phase MR imaging: initial experience.
PURPOSE: To determine the effect of two pairs of echo times (TEs) for in-phase (IP) and opposed-phase (OP) 3.0-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging on (a) quantitative analysis prospectively in a phantom study and (b) diagnostic accuracy retrospectively in a clinical study of adrenal tumors, with use of various reference standards in the clinical study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A fat-saline phantom was used to perform IP and OP 3.0-T MR imaging for various fat fractions. The institutional review board approved this HIPAA-compliant study, with waiver of informed consent. Single-breath-hold IP and OP 3.0-T MR images in 21 patients (14 women, seven men; mean age, 63 years) with 23 adrenal tumors (16 adenomas, six metastases, one adrenocortical carcinoma) were reviewed. The MR protocol involved two acquisition schemes: In scheme A, the first OP echo (approximately 1.5-msec TE) and the second IP echo (approximately 4.9-msec TE) were acquired. In scheme B, the first IP echo (approximately 2.4-msec TE) and the third OP echo (approximately 5.8-msec TE) were acquired. Quantitative analysis was performed, and analysis of variance was used to test for differences between adenomas and nonadenomas. RESULTS: In the phantom study, scheme B did not enable discrimination among voxels that had small amounts of fat. In the clinical study, no overlap in signal intensity (SI) index values between adenomas and nonadenomas was seen (P < .05) with scheme A. However, with scheme B, no overlap in the adrenal gland SI-to-liver SI ratio between adenomas and nonadenomas was seen (P < .05). With scheme B, no overlap in adrenal gland SI index-to-liver SI index ratio between adenomas and nonadenomas was seen (P < .05). CONCLUSION: This initial experience indicates SI index is the most reliable parameter for characterization of adrenal tumors with 3.0-T MR imaging when obtaining OP echo before IP echo. When acquiring IP echo before OP echo, however, nonadenomas can be mistaken as adenomas with use of the SI index value.
Schindera, ST; Soher, BJ; Delong, DM; Dale, BM; Merkle, EM
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