Objective: To evaluate the utility of a half-Fourier single-shot turbo spin-echo sequence (HASTE) at depicting lung parenchyma and lung pathology.
Methods and patients: A HASTE sequence was applied to five normal volunteers and 20 patients with various pulmonary disorders to depict the lung parenchyma. Images were acquired with ECG-triggering and breath-holding. In three volunteers, signal intensity measurements from lung parenchyma were performed using four sequences: (a) HASTE; (b) conventional spin echo; (c) fast spin echo; and (d) gradient echo. T2 maps were produced using the HASTE acquisition.
Results: Minimal respiratory or cardiac motion artifacts were observed. The signal-to-noise ratios from lung parenchyma were 27.8 +/- 5.4, 22.0 +/- 3.0, 15.3 +/- 0.9, and 6.0 +/- 1.9 for HASTE, spin-echo, fast spin-echo, and gradient echo sequences, respectively. The scan time for HASTE was 302 ms for each slice. The T2 values in the right lung and the left lung were 61.2 +/- 4.1 and 79.1 +/- 8.9 ms in systole and 92.6 +/- 5.8 and 97.5 +/- 12.2 ms in diastole, respectively (P < 0.05 diastole versus systole). The HASTE sequence demonstrated clearly various pulmonary disorders, including lung cancer, hilar lymphadenopathy, metastatic pulmonary nodules as small as 3 mm, pulmonary hemorrhage, pulmonary edema and bronchial wall thickening in bronchiectasis.
Conclusion: Our preliminary results indicate that the HASTE sequence provides a practical means for breath-hold MR imaging of lung parenchyma.