Purpose: To develop a phased-array coil-compatible, fast three-point Dixon (TPD) technique, and compare its performance in T2-weighted spine imaging with that of the standard chemical shift selective (CHESS) fat suppression technique.
Materials and methods: We acquired T2-weighted spine images of 27 patients using essentially identical scanning parameters with the fast TPD technique and standard fast spin echo (FSE) with CHESS fat suppression. A phased-array coil-compatible image reconstruction algorithm was developed to generate separate water and fat images from the data acquired with the fast TPD technique. Three neuroradiologists independently scored the images from the two different techniques for uniformity of fat suppression and lesion conspicuity using a four-point system (1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good, 4 = best).
Results: The reviewers' mean scores were 3.2 and 2.1 for the uniformity of fat suppression, and 3.0 and 2.0 for the lesion conspicuity for the fast TPD and the CHESS fat suppression techniques, respectively. The fast TPD technique was statistically superior to the CHESS technique at P < 0.0005.
Conclusion: The fast TPD technique provides superior fat suppression and lesion conspicuity, and potentially can be used as an alternative to T2-weighted imaging of the spine.
2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.