Cerebral microbleeds: accelerated 3D T2*-weighted GRE MR imaging versus conventional 2D T2*-weighted GRE MR imaging for detection

Radiology. 2008 Jul;248(1):272-7. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2481071158. Epub 2008 May 19.


The purpose of this study was to prospectively compare high-spatial-resolution accelerated three-dimensional (3D) T2*-weighted gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) magnetic resonance (MR) images with conventional two-dimensional (2D) T2*-weighted GRE MR images for the depiction of cerebral microbleeds. After obtaining institutional review board approval and informed consent, 200 elderly participants (age range, 69.7-96.7 years; 108 [54%] women) were imaged at 1.5 T by using both sequences. Presence, number, and location of microbleeds were recorded for both sequences, and differences were tested by using McNemar and signed rank tests. Cerebral microbleeds were detected in significantly more participants on 3D T2*-weighted GRE images (35.5%) than on 2D T2*-weighted GRE images (21.0%; P < .001). Furthermore, in persons with microbleeds visualized on both image sets, significantly more microbleeds (P < .001) were seen on 3D images than on 2D images. For both sequences, the proportion of participants with a microbleed in a lobar (cortical gray and subcortical white matter), deep, or infratentorial location was similar. In conclusion, accelerated 3D T2*-weighted GRE images depict more microbleeds than do conventional 2D T2*-weighted GRE images.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity