Thyroid imaging with high-field-strength surface-coil MR.
Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the thyroid was performed with a 1.5-T system and local receiver coil in 19 "healthy" subjects and 34 patients with various focal and diffuse thyroid disorders. The normal gland was typically homogeneous with increased intensity relative to that of muscle on images obtained with long repetition times (TRs) and long echo times (TEs). Adjacent structures in the neck and upper mediastinum were well displayed. Thyroid nodules as small as 4-5 mm were identified. Follicular adenomas appeared as well-circumscribed nodules of heterogeneous intensity, increasing significantly in signal with long TRs/TEs. Colloid cysts and hemorrhagic cysts had homogeneous high signal with both short and long TRs/TEs. Two of three carcinomas were seen as poorly marginated lesions with associated cervical lymphadenopathy clearly depicted as increased intensity with long TRs/TEs. A follicular adenoma containing microscopic papillary carcinoma appeared similar to other benign adenomatoid nodules. A functioning nodule was isointense with normal gland at all pulse sequences. Characteristic patterns of diffuse abnormality were observed in cases of multinodular goiter, Hashimoto thyroiditis, and Graves disease, although additional cases are required to determine specificity. High-field-strength surface-coil MR imaging appears to be a sensitive method for identifying gross morphology of focal, multinodular, and diffuse disorders of the thyroid and involvement of surrounding structures in the neck.
Gefter, WB; Spritzer, CE; Eisenberg, B; LiVolsi, VA; Axel, L; Velchik, M; Alavi, A; Schenck, J; Kressel, HY
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