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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the ability of spin-echo MRI to differentiate between slow flow and mural thrombus in aortic diseases, we reviewed the spin-echo MRI of 10 patients with intraaortic thrombus that had been documented by CT in 8 patients and aortography in 2 patients. Six patients had aortic aneurysms with mural thrombi, and four had aortic dissections with adherent mural thrombi within the false lumen. Five of seven gated oblique sagittal or coronal T1-weighted studies demonstrated hyperintense slow flow signal within the residual lumen. This hyperintense slow flow signal was accompanied by a parallel hypointense rim due to a boundary layer dephasing phenomenon. Eight axial T2-weighted MR studies demonstrated a hypointense zone due to fresh clot at the edge of a mural thrombus on even-echo images consistently. The hypointense boundary layer between slow flow and mural thrombus on either gated T1-weighted MRI or second-echo T2-weighted MRI not only predicted the presence of flow within the residual lumen but also clearly separated the area of slow flow from that of mural thrombus in 9 of 10 patients. Proper interpretation of spin-echo images may obviate the need for phase display imaging or gradient-echo imaging in differentiating between slow flow and mural thrombus.
Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 10/1992; 16(6):944-50. · 1.58 Impact Factor