MR Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis: The Accuracy of 3D Double Inversion Recovery at 3 Tesla and the Potential for Single Sequence Imaging

Neuroradiol J. 2011 Mar 29;24(1):92-9. doi: 10.1177/197140091102400114. Epub 2011 Apr 5.


To compare the accuracy of a three dimensional, T2-weighted double inversion recovery (DIR) sequence with two dimensional fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and dual echo T2 (DE T2) sequences at 3 Tesla in the detection of intracranial demyelinating lesions in patients with known or suspected multiple sclerosis (MS), and to consider the appropriateness of a stand-alone DIR sequence in MS imaging. The studies of 98 patients who underwent imaging with DE T2, FLAIR and DIR sequences for known or suspected multiple sclerosis were retrospectively reviewed. In 42 cases, a diagnosis of MS had been clinically suspected. In the remaining 56 cases, a diagnosis of MS had been previously established. All patients were imaged on a 3T MRI unit. Coronal and sagittal FLAIR, axial DE T2, and three dimensional T2-weighted DIR sequences were utilised. Of the 42 patients with suspected multiple sclerosis, 11 demonstrated lesions characteristic of the disease. Demyelinating plaques were seen in all of the 56 patients with known MS. In all cases, all lesions seen on DE T2-or FLAIR sequences were visible and more conspicuous on the DIR sequence. In 22 of the 67 patients (33%) with demyelinating lesions, the DIR sequence showed additional lesions not visible on any of the other sequences. Additional detected lesions predominantly involved grey matter. At 3 Tesla, a T2 weighted, three dimensional DIR sequence is as accurate at detecting the presence of intracranial demyelinating lesions as two dimensional FLAIR and DE T2 sequences combined. A greater number of lesions were detected with the DIR sequence, and all lesions were more conspicuous. A single, stand alone DIR sequence may be considered appropriate for monitoring MS.