[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Patients with cervical spine syndrome often experience pain during the MR examination. Our aim was to compare the quality of cervical spine MR images obtained by parallel imaging with those of nonaccelerated images, with the goal of shortening the examination time while preserving adequate image quality.MATERIALS AND METHODS:A phantom study and examinations of 10 volunteers and 26 patients were conducted on a clinical 3T scanner. Acquisitions included axial T2WI, sagittal T2WI, T1WI, and T2TIRM sequences. Nonaccelerated sequences and accelerated sequences with different numbers of averages and different accelerations, with a scanning time reduction of 67%, were performed. For quantitative analysis, the SNR was obtained from the phantom measurements, and the NU was calculated from the volunteer measurements. For qualitative analysis, 3 independent readers assessed the delineation of anatomic structures in volunteers and the visibility of degenerative disease in patients.RESULTS:In the phantom study, as expected, the SNR of the nonaccelerated images was higher than the SNR of the same sequence with parallel imaging. In vivo, the NU was higher when applying fewer averages or parallel imaging, compared with the nonaccelerated images. The analysis of the subjective parameters in the volunteers and patients showed that a scanning time of 48% of the original protocol could be obtained by combining the following sequences: sagittal T1WI with 1 average; sagittal T2WI with acceleration factor 3; sagittal T2TIRM with acceleration factor 2; and axial T2* GRE with acceleration factor 2.CONCLUSIONS:Parallel imaging of the cervical spine at 3T allows shortening of the examination time by 52%, preserving adequate image quality.
American Journal of Neuroradiology 05/2012; · 3.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective was to compare patients after matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) and microfracture therapy (MFX) of the talus using diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), with morphological and clinical scoring.
Twenty patients treated with MACT or MFX (10 per group) were examined using 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 48 ± 21.5 and 59.6 ± 23 months after surgery, respectively. For comparability, patients from each group were matched by age, body mass index, and follow-up. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score served as clinical assessment tool pre- and postoperatively. DWI was obtained using a partially balanced, steady-state gradient echo pulse sequence, as well as the Magnetic Resonance Observation of Cartilage Repair Tissue (MOCART) score, based on a 2D proton density-weighted turbo spin-echo sequence and a 3D isotropic true fast imaging with steady-state precession sequence. Semi-quantitative diffusion quotients were calculated after region of interest analysis of repair tissue (RT) and healthy control cartilage, and compared among both groups.
The mean AOFAS score improved significantly (P = 0.001) for both groups (MACT: 48.8 ± 20.4-83.6 ± 9.7; MFX: 44.3 ± 16.5-77.6 ± 13.2). No differences in the AOFAS (P = 0.327) and MOCART (P = 0.720) score were observed between MACT and MFX postoperatively. DWI distinguished between healthy cartilage and cartilage RT in the MFX group (P = 0.016), but not after MACT treatment (P = 0.105). Significant correlations were found between MOCART score and DWI index after MFX (Pearson: -0.648; P = 0.043), and between the diffusivity and longer follow-up interval in MACT group (Pearson: -0.647, P = 0.043).
Whereas conventional scores reveal a similar outcome after MACT or MFX treatment in the ankle joint, DWI was able to distinguish between different RT qualities, as reported histologically for these diverse surgical procedures.
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 03/2012; 20(7):703-11. · 4.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE/INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine the T1 relaxivities (r1) of 8 gadolinium (Gd)-based MR contrast agents in human blood plasma at 7 Tesla, compared with 3 Tesla.
Eight commercially available Gd-based MR contrast agents were diluted in human blood plasma to concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2 mmol/L. In vitro measurements were performed at 37 degrees C, on a 7 Tesla and on a 3 Tesla whole-body magnetic resonance imaging scanner. For the determination of T1 relaxation times, Inversion Recovery Sequences with inversion times from 0 to 3500 ms were used. The relaxivities were calculated.
The r1 relaxivities of all agents, diluted in human blood plasma at body temperature, were lower at 7 Tesla than at 3 Tesla. The values at 3 Tesla were comparable to those published earlier. Notably, in some agents, a minor negative correlation of r1 with a concentration of up to 2 mmol/L could be observed. This was most pronounced in the agents with the highest protein-binding capacity.
At 7 Tesla, the in vitro r1 relaxivities of Gd-based contrast agents in human blood plasma are lower than those at 3 Tesla. This work may serve as a basis for the application of Gd-based MR contrast agents at 7 Tesla. Further studies are required to optimize the contrast agent dose in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Degenerative osteoarthritis of the hip joint (coxarthrosis) is the most common disease of the hip joint in adults. The diagnosis is based on a combination of radiographic findings and characteristic clinical symptoms. The lack of a radiographic consensus definition has seemingly resulted in a variation of the published incidences and prevalence of degenerative osteoarthritis of the hip joint. The chronological sequence of degeneration includes the following basic symptoms on conventional radiographs and CT: joint space narrowing, development of osteophytes, subchondral demineralisation/sclerosis and cyst formation, as well as loose bodies, joint malalignment and deformity. MR imaging allows additional visualization of early symptoms and/or activity signs such as cartilage edema, cartilage tears and defects, subchondral bone marrow edema, synovial edema and thickening, joint effusion and muscle atrophy.The scientific dispute concerns the significance of (minimal) joint malalignment (e.g. impingement, dysplasia etc.) and forms of malpositioning which as possible prearthrosis have a high probability of leading to degenerative osteoarthritis. Moreover, without any question, the preservation of joint containment and gender differences are important additional basic diagnostic principles, which have gained great interest in recent years.In research different MR procedures such as Na and H spectroscopy, T2*-mapping etc. with ultrahigh field MR allow cartilage metabolism and its changes in early degenerative osteoarthritis ("biochemical imaging") to be studied. There is no doubt that even in a few years new profound knowledge is to be expected in this field.
Der Radiologe 06/2009; 49(5):400-9. · 0.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spectrum of pathological changes in anatomical sections of the hypopharynx ranges from benign pathologies to hypopharyngeal carcinoma. Beside the clinical status and the endoscopic evaluation performed by ear, nose and throat specialists, imaging techniques play an important role in pre-therapeutic and post-therapeutic diagnostics and in the follow-up of pharyngeal disease patterns, especially for malignant lesions. A conventional x-ray swallow examination, contrast-enhanced multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as positron emission tomography (PET) and positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT) are applied depending on the medical question and disease. Especially in radiological oncology, it is extremely important in regions which are clinically difficult to assess to determine the exact localization and extent of hypopharyngeal pathologies to plan the optimal therapy for the patient. This article demonstrates the radiological appearance of pathological changes of the hypopharynx and discusses in particular the hypopharynx carcinoma in the focus of pre-therapeutic and post-therapeutic imaging.
Der Radiologe 12/2008; 49(1):36-42. · 0.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The larynx and the pharynx represent anatomically as well as functionally a very complex organ which serves as an airway and a nutrition channel. Knowledge of anatomy and anatomical topography is therefore a fundamental basis for the evaluation of any pathological process. Beside the clinical examination and endoscopy performed by ear, nose and throat specialists, imaging techniques play a crucial role in pre-therapeutic and post-therapeutic diagnostics. The radiologist employs a conventional x-ray swallow examination, as well as contrast-enhanced multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT), depending on the medical problem in question. The following article demonstrates the functional and especially the structural anatomy of the larynx and the pharynx. Furthermore, the broad range of imaging techniques in clinical use is discussed.
Der Radiologe 12/2008; 49(1):8-16. · 0.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To demonstrate intratumoral susceptibility effects in malignant brain tumors and to assess visualization of susceptibility effects before and after administration of the paramagnetic contrast agent MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine; Bracco Imaging), an agent known to have high relaxivity, with respect to susceptibility effects, image quality, and reduction of scan time.
Included in the study were 19 patients with malignant brain tumors who underwent high-resolution, susceptibility-weighted (SW) MR imaging at 3 T before and after administration of contrast agent. In all patients, Multihance was administered intravenously as a bolus (0.1 mmol/kg body weight). MR images were individually evaluated by two radiologists with previous experience in the evaluation of pre- and postcontrast 3-T SW MR images with respect to susceptibility effects, image quality, and reduction of scan time.
In the 19 patients 21 tumors were diagnosed, of which 18 demonstrated intralesional susceptibility effects both in pre- and postcontrast SW images, and 19 demonstrated contrast enhancement in both SW images and T1-weighted spin-echo MR images. Conspicuity of susceptibility effects and image quality were improved in postcontrast images compared with precontrast images and the scan time was also reduced due to decreased TE values from 9 min (precontrast) to 7 min (postcontrast).
The intravenous administration of MultiHance, an agent with high relaxivity, allowed a reduction of scan time from 9 min to 7 min while preserving excellent susceptibility effects and image quality in SW images obtained at 3 T. Contrast enhancement and intralesional susceptibility effects can be assessed in one sequence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this work was to demonstrate susceptibility effects (SusE) in various types of brain tumors with 3T high-resolution (HR)-contrast-enhanced (CE)-susceptibility-weighted (SW)-MR imaging and to correlate SusE with positron-emission tomography (PET) and histopathology.
Eighteen patients with brain tumors, scheduled for biopsy or tumor extirpation, underwent high-field (3T) MR imaging. In all of the patients, an axial T1-spin-echo (SE) sequence and an HR-SW imaging sequence before and after IV application of a standard dose of contrast agent (MultiHance) was obtained. Seven patients preoperatively underwent PET. The frequency and formation of intralesional SusE in all of the images were evaluated and correlated with tumor grade as determined by PET and histopathology. Direct correlation of SusE and histopathologic specimens was performed in 6 patients. Contrast enhancement of the lesions was assessed in both sequences.
High-grade lesions demonstrated either high or medium frequency of SusE in 90% of the patients. Low-grade lesions demonstrated low frequency of SusE or no SusE. Correlation between intralesional frequency of SusE and histopathologic, as well as PET, tumor grading was statistically significant. Contrast enhancement was equally visible in both SW and SE sequences. Side-to-side comparison of tumor areas with high frequency of SusE and histopathology revealed that intralesional SusE reflected conglomerates of increased tumor microvascularity.
3T HR-CE-SW-MR imaging shows both intratumoral SusE not visible with standard MR imaging and contrast enhancement visible with standard MR imaging. Because frequency of intratumoral SusE correlates with tumor grade as determined by PET and histopathology, this novel technique is a promising tool for noninvasive differentiation of low-grade from high-grade brain tumors and for determination of an optimal area of biopsy for accurate tumor grading.
American Journal of Neuroradiology 09/2007; 28(7):1280-6. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of our study were to assess whether coronal reformations improve the diagnostic performance of MDCT in patients with acute flank pain and suspected urinary stone disease; and to determine if performing such reformations from 3-mm-thick sections is sufficient or if it is necessary to perform reformations from thinner sections.
We included 147 consecutive patients (72 women and 75 men; mean age +/- SD, 58 +/- 18.1 years) with suspected urinary stone disease who underwent unenhanced MDCT. Scans were obtained with a 4 x 1 mm collimation and were reconstructed with a section thickness of 1.25 and 3 mm. We compared the diagnostic yield of 3-mm axial sections with that of coronal reformations reconstructed from 1.25- and 3-mm axial sections. Imaging data were evaluated in random order by two radiologists. The significance of the difference between the axial sections and coronal multiplanar reformations (MPRs) was tested for the number, size, and location of uroliths and for the presence of alternative diagnoses. The time required for review by both observers was recorded.
We found uroliths in 72 patients. There was no difference between 3-mm axial sections and coronal reformations from 1.25-mm sections with regard to the number of detected stones (n = 264 for both protocols), whereas coronal reformations from 3-mm sections revealed significantly fewer calcifications (n = 255, p = 0.016). Coronal reformations did not improve the localization of calcifications. Review time, however, was significantly shorter for coronal reformations than for axial sections (p = 0.001); however, coronal reformations were less sensitive than axial sections for the detection of additional findings suggestive of alternative diagnoses in 16 (30%) of 53 patients.
Coronal reformations from MDCT do not improve urinary stone detection but may reduce evaluation time; however, there is the danger of missing additional findings. Coronal reformations reconstructed from thick (i.e., 3-5 mm) axial sections may result in reduced detection of small stones and should therefore be avoided.
American Journal of Roentgenology 09/2007; 189(2):W60-4. · 2.90 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multi-detector computed tomography (CT) offers new opportunities in the imaging of the gastrointestinal tract. Its ability to cover a large volume in a very short scan time, and in a single breath hold with thin collimation and isotropic voxels, allows the imaging of the entire esophagus with high-quality multiplanar reformation and 3D reconstruction. Proper distention of the esophagus and stomach (by oral administration of effervescent granules and water) and optimally timed administration of intravenous contrast material are required to detect and characterize disease. In contrast to endoscopy and double-contrast studies of the upper GI tract, CT provides information about both the esophageal wall and the extramural extent of disease. Preoperative staging of esophageal carcinoma appears to be the main indication for MDCT. In addition, MDCT allows detection of other esophageal malignancies, such as lymphoma and benign esophageal tumors, such as leiomyma. A diagnosis of rupture or fistula of the esophagus can be firmly established using MDCT. Furthermore, miscellaneous esophageal conditions, such as achalasia, esophagitis, diverticula, and varices, are incidental findings and can also be visualized with hydro-multi-detector CT. Multi-detector CT is a valuable tool for the evaluation of esophageal wall disease and serves as an adjunct to endoscopy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare high-field, high-resolution, susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (3 Tesla [T] HR-SW-MRI) and standard (1.5 Tesla [T]) MRI for the detection of cerebral cavernomas. To evaluate the ability of 3 T HR-SW-MRI to visualize intralesional structures compared with standard (1.5 T) MRI, in correlation with histopathologic findings.
Seventeen patients with cerebral cavernomas underwent both standard (1.5 T) MRI (T1-SE, T2-TSE, T2*-GRE) and 3 T HR-SW-MRI (TR/TE 43.3/9.1 millisecond; 512 x 384 x 48 matrix; FOV 250 mm; SI 72 mm) at our institution. All MR images were evaluated by 3 radiologists in consensus for detectability, size (</>1 cm), and conspicuity (good, acceptable, poor) of the lesions at both field strengths, and for the presence of hypointense intralesional tubular structures. In 7 patients, MR findings were correlated with histopathologic findings.
Both 3 T HR-SW-MRI and standard (1.5 T) MRI detected 22 lesions in 17 patients; 3 T HR-SW-MRI detected an additional 7 lesions in 6 patients. On average, 3 T HR-SW-MRI detected 1.706 +/- 0.92 (median = 1) lesions per patient, whereas standard (1.5 T) MRI detected 1.235 +/- 0.664 lesions per patient (P = 0.016). Lesion conspicuity was good in all 3 T HR-SW-MR images and good in 68.2% and acceptable in 31.8% of standard (1.5 T) MR images (P = 0.016). In 22 lesions detected at both field strengths, 3 T HR-SW-MRI demonstrated intralesional tubular structures in 72.7% and standard (1.5 T) MRI demonstrated these structures in 31.8% (P = 0.001). Intralesional tubular structure correlated to conglomerates of cavernous vessel, as verified by histopathology.
Compared with standard (1.5 T) MRI, 3 T HR-SW-MRI allows superior detection and characterization of cerebral cavernomas. Despite increased susceptibility effects, ie, signal loss at higher magnetic field strengths, the visualization of intralesional tubular structures is feasible. This may be helpful in the diagnosis, presurgical planning, and noninvasive follow-up after gamma-knife radiosurgery.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the pathologic nature of features termed "bone erosion" and "bone marrow edema" (also called "osteitis) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA patients scheduled for joint replacement surgery (metacarpophalangeal or proximal interphalangeal joints) underwent MRI on the day before surgery. The presence and localization of bone erosions and bone marrow edema as evidenced by MRI (MRI bone erosions and MRI bone marrow edema) were documented in each joint (n=12 joints). After surgery, sequential sections from throughout the whole joint were analyzed histologically for bone marrow changes, and these results were correlated with the MRI findings.
MRI bone erosion was recorded based on bone marrow inflammation adjacent to a site of cortical bone penetration. Inflammation was recorded based on either invading synovial tissue (pannus), formation of lymphocytic aggregates, or increased vascularity. Fat-rich bone marrow was replaced by inflammatory tissue, increasing water content, which appears as bright signal enhancement on STIR MRI sequences. MRI bone marrow edema was recorded based on the finding of inflammatory infiltrates, which were less dense than those of MRI bone erosions and localized more centrally in the joint. These lesions were either isolated or found in contact with MRI bone erosions.
MRI bone erosions and MRI bone marrow edema are due to the formation of inflammatory infiltrates in the bone marrow of patients with RA. This emphasizes the value of MRI in sensitively detecting inflammatory tissue in the bone marrow and demonstrates that the inflammatory process extends to the bone marrow cavity, which is an additional target structure for antiinflammatory therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate high field magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for imaging of osteochondral defects.
Nine osteochondral defects were simulated in three cadaveric talus specimens using a diamond drill. All specimens were examined on a 1.0 T MR unit and a 3.0 T MR unit. A T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (TSE) sequence with a 2 mm slice thickness and a 256 x 256 matrix size was used on both scanners. The visibility of the osteochondral separation and the presence of susceptibility artifacts at the drilling bores were scored on all images.
Compared to the 1.0 T MR unit, the protocol on the 3.0 T MR unit allowed a better delineation of the disruption of the articular cartilage and a better demarcation of the subchondral defect. Differences regarding the visualization of the subchondral defect were found to be statistically significant (P<0.05). Differences with regard to susceptibility artifacts at the drilling bores were not statistically significant (P>0.05). The average SNR was higher using 3.0 T MRI (SNR=12), compared to 1.0 T MRI (SNR=7).
High field MRI enables the acquisition of images with sufficient resolution and higher SNR and has therefore the potential to improve the staging of osteochondral defects.
European Journal of Radiology 08/2005; 55(2):283-8. · 2.51 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The basic diagnostic efficacy of MR contrast medium in the evaluation of primary brain tumors and its clinical usefulness in the detection of brain metastases with single and cumulative triple-dose was compared using a high-field 3 T MR unit and a 1.5 T MR unit. Additionally, the effect of contrast agent on high-resolution MR venography based on the BOLD effect was evaluated at both field strengths. Tumor-brain contrast after gadodiamide administration, as assessed by means of statistical evaluation of MP-RAGE scans and T1-SE images, was significantly higher at 3 T than at 1.5 T. The subjective assessment of cumulative triple-dose 3 T images obtained the best results in the detection of brain metastases, followed by 1.5 T cumulative triple-dose enhanced images. Due to higher spatial resolution, contrast-enhanced MR venography at 3 T showed more details in and around tumors than at 1.5 T, additionally enhanced by stronger susceptibility weighting and higher signal-to-noise ratio at 3 T. In summary, administration of gadolinium-based contrast agent produces higher contrast between tumor and normal brain at 3 T than at 1.5 T, helps to detect more cerebral metastases at 3 T than at 1.5 T in single and cumulative triple dose, and improves MR venography at 3 T with increase in spatial resolution within the same measurement time, thus providing more detailed information.
Der Radiologe 02/2004; 44(1):56-64. · 0.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the diagnostic efficacy of a standard and cumulative triple dose of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging contrast agent in the evaluation of brain metastases using a high-field 3.0 T MR unit versus a standard field 1.5 T MR unit.
Twenty-two patients with suspected brain metastases were examined at both field strengths using identical postcontrast coronal 3D gradient echo with magnetization preparation, which was adjusted separately for each field strength. In both groups initially, iv injection of 0.1 mmol/kg body weight gadolinium chelate (gadodiamide) and thereafter, 0.2 mmol/kg body weight gadodiamide were administered. Subjective assessment of the images was performed independently by 3 neuroradiologists. Objective measurement of signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios was obtained.
The subjective assessment of cumulative triple-dose 3.0 T images obtained the best results compared with other sequences, detecting 84 metastases, followed by 1.5 T cumulative triple-dose enhanced images with 81 brain metastases. The objective assessment confirmed those results, showing significantly higher signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios with 3.0 T than with 1.5 T.
Cumulative triple-dose images of both field strengths were superior to standard field strengths. However, administration of gadodiamide contrast agent produces higher contrast between tumor and normal brain on 3.0 T than on 1.5 T, resulting in better detection of brain metastases and leptomeningeal involvement.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: To compare the diagnostic efficacy of a standard and cumulative triple dose of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging contrast agent in the evaluation of brain metastases using a high-field 3.0 T MR unit versus a standard field 1.5 T MR unit.
Methods: Twenty-two patients with suspected brain metastases were examined at both field strengths using identical postcontrast coronal 3D gradient echo with magnetization preparation, which was adjusted separately for each field strength. In both groups initially, iv injection of 0.1 mmol/kg body weight gadolinium chelate (gadodiamide) and thereafter, 0.2 mmol/kg body weight gadodiamide were administered. Subjective assessment of the images was performed independently by 3 neuroradiologists. Objective measurement of signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios was obtained.
Results: The subjective assessment of cumulative triple-dose 3.0 T images obtained the best results compared with other sequences, detecting 84 metastases, followed by 1.5 T cumulative triple-dose enhanced images with 81 brain metastases. The objective assessment confirmed those results, showing significantly higher signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios with 3.0 T than with 1.5 T.
Conclusions: Cumulative triple-dose images of both field strengths were superior to standard field strengths. However, administration of gadodiamide contrast agent produces higher contrast between tumor and normal brain on 3.0 T than on 1.5 T, resulting in better detection of brain metastases and leptomeningeal involvement.
In approximately 20% of patients with cancer, intracranial metastases are diagnosed before or simultaneously with the primary tumor. 1 The diagnosis of intracranial metastases in patients with cancer generally leads to changes in both prognosis and therapeutic approach. Early diagnosis of brain involvement and determination of the number of metastases are important not only for quality of life but also for cost effectiveness factors. 2 Untreated patients with brain metastases have a median survival of less than 3 months. An early and definite identification of intracranial metastases is vital for the application of modern aggressive therapeutic regimens, which may combine surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Patients with multiple brain metastases are usually treated with radiation or chemotherapy without surgical resection. It has been reported that patients with solitary metastasis who undergo resection have an increased survival time and an improved quality of life compared with patients with solitary metastasis who undergo chemotherapy alone. 2 The decision regarding a conservative versus a surgical approach depends on the number of brain metastases detected by radiologic means. Up to 50% of all patients with intracerebral metastases will have only a single lesion, demonstrated by computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR). 3 In this group of patients, the detection of additional occult lesions that were not evident on routine radiologic examinations is essential for optimal patient treatment. In our institution, at the department of neurosurgery, up to 2 metastases would be removed surgically or with gamma knife therapy, and in patients with more than 2 metastases, chemotherapy and whole brain radiation would be applied. Based on this clinical background, strong radiologic efforts have been made to increase the detection rate of brain metastases. MRI has been proven to be clearly superior to CT, in this approach, but even with MR, the detection of small brain metastases requires a reasonably high lesion contrast and high spatial resolution. 4 An improved lesion contrast or lesion-to-background ratio on MR images can be achieved by using either a higher dose of contrast agent or a higher field strength.
An intravenous administration of 0.1 mmol/kg gadodiamide has been widely accepted as a standard dosage for a variety of clinical routine examinations on routine scanners. 5 However, an improvement of lesion contrast has also been demonstrated with higher doses of gadolinium chelate, 6-9 especially for indications where a subtle enhancement and/or small lesions must be assessed.
Another way to increase the conspicuity of small low contrast lesions is the use of high field MRI scanners, because signal-to-noise (SNR) ratios improve markedly with these scanners. 10,11 However, not only the SNR increase at higher magnetic field strengths, but also the tissue T1 relaxation times become longer. 12,13 This effect reduces the plain T1-contrast on T1-weighted sequences on one hand, but it makes on the other hand the T1-weighted sequences also more sensitive to the T1-shortening effect of even small amounts of contrast agent. 14 At a dosage of 0.1 mmol/kg of gadodiamide, a nearly 50% higher signal-to-noise ratio can be expected at 3.0 T as compared with 1.5 T when strongly T1-weighted imaging sequences are used.
Thus, we hypothesized that higher field strength MR systems might be superior to standard field strength systems in detecting brain metastases, which sometimes represent only small and poorly enhancing lesions. This has, however, not yet been verified by clinical data. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a 3.0 T-MR system in the detection of brain metastases compared with a standard 1.5 T system and to relate it to the efficacy of using a cumulative triple-dose contrast administration (0.3 instead of 0.1 mmol gadodiamide /kg body weight).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cervical radiculopathy is typically caused by posterolateral disc herniation or spondylotic foraminal stenosis, either of which may compress the ventral aspect of the nerve root. The authors undertook a study to establish the feasibility of performing an endoscopic approach for anterior cervical foraminotomy (ACFor) in a clinical setting.
Application of this method on cadavers was conducted to verify the practicability of this technique. The clinical study included 16 patients (eight men and eight women; mean age 46.6 years) all presenting with unilateral radicular symptoms (one at two adjacent ipsilateral levels), which were associated with various degrees of neck pain. Disc herniations and/or uncovertebral osteophytes were confirmed on magnetic resonance imaging and high-resolution computerized tomography scanning. A total of 17 endoscopic ACFors (one two-level procedure) were performed using a rigid glass endoscope (25 degrees angled, 3-mm diameter, 10-mm length) mounted on a tubular retractor. No major surgery-related complications were encountered. During a mean follow-up period of 13.8 months an average absolute improvement of 44% (p > 0.05) in the neck disability index score and of 96% (p > 0.05) in the visual analog scale score for radicular pain (compared with the preoperative score) was observed. During the follow-up period strength improved to normal in 84% and sensory deficit in 80% of the patients. The overall subjective patient satisfaction rate was 87.6%; the return-to-work rate after 4 weeks was 81.4%.
The advantages of endoscopic ACFor include minimial surgical exposure, improved intraoperative visualization, direct decompression of the nerve root, and the preservation of the intervertebral disc and the motion segment.
Journal of Neurosurgery 03/2003; 98(2 Suppl):171-80. · 3.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To demonstrate our short and long-term results after transbrachial treatment of subclavian artery aneurysms and injuries with stent-grafts in elective and emergency settings.
Ten of 12 consecutive patients (6 men; mean age 63.8 years, range 38-80) were treated electively with commercially prepared endografts delivered via a transbrachial access to repair a subclavian artery aneurysm (n=3) or an injury from a misplaced central venous catheter (n=7). Two patients required emergency treatment for a ruptured atherosclerotic aneurysm in one and an unintentional arterial puncture during placement of a central venous access in the other. Stent-graft patency during follow-up was assessed by physical examination with comparison of brachial blood pressures in all patients; computed tomography angiography (CTA) was performed in available patients.
Successful deployment of stent-grafts with sealing of the lesion was achieved in all cases. There were 2 (17%) procedural complications. One patient developed an access-site hematoma that required surgical revision. The second patient, who had a right subclavian injury, suffered an embolic cerebral infarction. The primary stent-graft patency during follow-up (mean 11.6 months) was 100%. CTA examinations in 7 patients at a mean 18 months showed strut dislocation at the thoracic outlet without luminal narrowing in 1 patient. A 50% intraluminal narrowing due to compression between the clavicle and the first rib occurred in another patient. Six patients with a mean follow-up of 23 months (range 0.3-4.5 years) are still alive with patent stent-grafts.
Endovascular stent-graft treatment of subclavian artery aneurysms and injuries is a less invasive alternative to surgical repair. Long-term results must still be confirmed in further studies.
Journal of Endovascular Therapy 03/2003; 10(1):58-65. · 2.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrotumors of the sella region usually involve the suprasellar and less commonly the parasellar space. The suprasellar extension of pituitary adenoma, meningeoma, craniopharyngioma, and hypothalamic or chiasmatic glioma count for the most frequent neoplastic entities. In macroadenomas of the pituitary gland invasion of parasellar spaces may occur in 6-10%. Imaging techniques are directed to increase the likelihood of surgical cure and to detect aggressive tumour invasion into surrounding tissues. A dedicated classification basing on indirect MRI signs of tumour extension has been established. With high-resolution high-field (3T) MRI the sella region may be displayed to provide better information compared to lower field strengths.