Three-dimensional, T1-weighted gradient-echo imaging of the brain with a volumetric interpolated examination

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2002 Jun-Jul;23(6):995-1002.


Background and purpose: T1-weighted, 3D gradient-echo MR sequences can be optimized for rapid acquisition and improved resolution through asymmetric k-space sampling and interpolation. We compared a volumetric interpolated brain examination (VIBE) sequence with a magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient echo (MP RAGE) sequence and a 2D T1-weighted spin-echo (SE) sequence.

Methods: Thirty consecutive patients known or suspected to have focal brain lesions underwent postcontrast studies (20 mL of gadopentetate dimeglumine) with VIBE, MP RAGE, and 2D T1-weighted SE imaging. Source and 5-mm VIBE and MP RAGE reformations, and 5-mm T1-weighted SE images were compared qualitatively and by using signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). SNRs in a gadolinium-doped water phantom were also measured for all three sequences.

Results: On the source images, SNRs for gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM), and CNRs for WM-to-GM and contrast-enhancing lesion-to-GM were slightly, but significantly higher for the VIBE sequence than for the MP RAGE sequence (P <.05). On 5-mm reformations, WM-to-GM CNR was significantly higher on VIBE and MP RAGE images than on T1-weighted SE images (P <.001), but contrast-enhancing lesion-to-GM CNRs were higher on SE images compared with both gradient-echo sequences (P <.001). Qualitatively, VIBE images showed fewer flow artifacts than did SE and MP RAGE images (P <.05). In the phantom, VIBE SNR was higher than MP RAGE SNR for short T1 relaxation times.

Conclusion: VIBE provides an effective, alternative approach to MP RAGE for fast 3D T1-weighted imaging of the brain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phantoms, Imaging