Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of half-Fourier single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE) sequences in MR imaging of the brain in pediatric patients.
Subjects and methods: HASTE sequences were performed in 80 infants and children. Two radiologists who were unaware of the patients' medical histories independently reviewed the images for the presence of nine findings: defects of the parenchyma, hypoplasia or agenesis of the corpus callosum, edema, signs of increased intracranial pressure, myelination disorders, migration disorders, malformations, tumors, and widening of spaces of the cerebrospinal fluid. A conventional MR imaging examination that served as the reference examination was evaluated by the same two radiologists in a final consensus interpretation. The findings detected on the HASTE images were compared with the findings seen on the conventional MR images. The sensitivity and specificity of HASTE sequences were calculated, and Cohen's kappa statistic was used to determine interobserver agreement.
Results: Both radiologists correctly diagnosed all 20 defects of the parenchyma that were present in the patients. Radiologist 1 correctly identified 20 and radiologist 2 correctly identified 21 of the 22 patients with hypoplasia or agenesis of the corpus callosum. Both radiologists correctly diagnosed edema in eight of the nine patients in whom edema was present, and both correctly identified signs of increased intracranial pressure in eight of the nine children who had this condition. Radiologist 1 correctly diagnosed seven and radiologist 2 correctly identified nine of the 11 cases of myelination disorders. Both radiologists correctly diagnosed six of the 14 cases with migration disorders. All 13 brain malformations present in the patients were correctly identified by both reviewers. Both radiologists correctly identified all 11 patients with tumors, and both correctly identified all 35 patients with widening of spaces of the cerebrospinal fluid.
Conclusion: HASTE images are highly sensitive for excluding the presence of brain tumor, hydrocephalus, or malformations of the brain. HASTE images are not reliable for evaluating patients with suspected myelination disorders or migration disorders.