Detection of brain metastasis at 3T: comparison among SE, IR-FSE and 3D-GRE sequences

Eur Radiol. 2007 Sep;17(9):2345-51. doi: 10.1007/s00330-007-0599-9. Epub 2007 Feb 22.


The objective of this study is to compare the detectability of brain metastases at 3T among three contrast-enhanced sequences, spin-echo (SE) sequence, inversion recovery fast SE (IR-FSE) sequence (both with section thickness of 6 mm), and three-dimensional fast spoiled gradient-echo (3D fast SPGR) sequence with 1.4 mm isotropic voxel. First, phantom studies were performed to quantify the contrast-enhancement ratio (CER) with three sequences. In 21 consecutive patients with brain metastases, axial images of three sequences at 3T were obtained after administration of gadoteridol. Two neuroradiologists assessed the detectability of brain metastases for the three sequences. In the phantom study, no evident difference in the CER was demonstrated among three sequences. Significantly more brain metastases were detected with 3D fast SPGR than with SE and IR-FSE (a total of 97 lesions with 3D fast SPGR vs. 64 with SE and 63 with IR-FSE). In particular, 3D fast SPGR was superior to the other two sequences in detection of the small lesions (<3 mm). At 3T, the contrast-enhanced 3D fast SPGR with 1.4 mm isotropic voxel is clinically more valuable for detecting small brain metastases than the SE and IR-FSE with section thickness of 6 mm.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • History, 18th Century
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Contrast Media
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • gadoteridol
  • Gadolinium