Clinical Update: Breath-Hold 3D Gadolinium-Enhanced Multiphasic Abdominal MR

Matthew P. Evitts, DO, Scott B. Hoefer, MD, Udo P. Schmiedl, MD, PhD

Appl Radiol. 2003;32(1) 

In This Article

Introduction

Improvements in gradient performance have made the rapid acquisition of three-dimensional (3D) volumetric gradient echo data possible. Thin contiguous images of the abdominal organs can be obtained with isotropic voxels in a single breath-hold with resultant decrease in respiratory motion artifact and improved anatomic sharpness.[1] The volumetric image data can then be viewed in any desired plane.[2] This technique results in higher signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) (related to the longer repetition time) compared with spin-echo (SE) or fast-spin-echo (FSE) T2-weighted images or two-dimensional (2D) gradient-echo images.[3] Contrast-to-noise levels for hepatic lesions are better than for spin-echo T2 and comparable to fast-spin-echo T2-weighted images.[1]

We have used this technique to obtain gadolinium-enhanced 3D spoiled gradient-echo images of the abdominal organs in multiple phases of enhancement (arterial, venous, delayed). This allows improved lesion detection and characterization by allowing assessment of lesion vascularity similar to that achieved with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT). This technique provides an alternative to conventional CT in cases in which iodinated contrast is contraindicated. This article will introduce the reader to this technique, including its technical facets, and to illustrate several cases of its use.

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