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MR Imaging of the cervical spine with an optimized three dimensional turbo-spin echo T2-weighted sequence 2005

General Spine

Ricardo M Burgos, MD
C D Phillips, MD, Non ASSR Member
John Mugler, PhD, Non ASSR Member

Purpose

To compare cervical spine images three dimensional turbo-spin echo (3DTSE) T2-weighted sequence against our standard multiecho data image combination (MEDIC) sequence, specifically addressing the visualization of the neural foramina and contrast at the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), spinal cord interface and dural margins.

Methods & Materials

15 patients with clinically suspected cervical spondylosis were examined with axial MR imaging using our standard imaging sequences and the additional optimized 3D TSE T2-weighted sequence. Two neuroradiologists graded the visualization of the neural foramina, measured the transverse dimensions of the diseased neural foramina, and graded the contrast at the CSF, spinal cord interface and dural margins.

Results

In all cases neuroradiologists rated visualization of the neural foramina better with 3D FSE T2-weighted technique. Superior contrast was seen at the CSF, spinal cord and dura interface on images obtained with this technique.

Conclusion

3D TSE T2-weighted sequence in the cervical spine produces high quality images, with high SNR, excellent visualization of the neural foramina and CSF-spinal cord interface and dural margins. This technique allows greater accuracy in the assessment of neural foraminal stenosis as compared with that seen our standard MEDIC sequence.