Gadolinium-DTPA-enhanced MR imaging of spinal neoplasms: preliminary investigation and comparison with unenhanced spin-echo and STIR sequences

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1988 Dec;151(6):1185-92. doi: 10.2214/ajr.151.6.1185.


Unenhanced T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo, short inversion time inversion recovery (STIR), and gadolinium-DTPA (Gd-DTPA)-enhanced spin-echo and STIR imaging techniques were used in 20 patients as part of a multicenter study to assess the safety and efficacy of Gd-DTPA in spinal imaging. Five patients had normal MR scans. Of those with lesions, both Gd-DTPA-enhanced T1-weighted spin-echo and unenhanced STIR scans improved detection and evaluation of spinal tumors over conventional spin-echo methods, particularly T2-weighted spin echo, by providing higher tissue contrast in shorter imaging times. The Gd-DTPA-enhanced T1-weighted spin-echo scans were most helpful in evaluating intradural tumors, whereas STIR sequences were most effective for extradural tumors and bone metastases. In most cases, Gd-DTPA-enhanced T1-weighted spin-echo scans best delineated tumor margins, and the enhancement was helpful in suggesting a cellular or active nature of the lesions. In some cases, the enhancement resulted in a more homogeneous and thus less abnormal-appearing marrow in vertebrae involved by tumor; therefore, a precontrast T1-weighted spin-echo scan is necessary in all patients who are to be studied with Gd-DTPA. A combined approach that uses T1-weighted spin-echo, Gd-DTPA-enhanced T1-weighted spin-echo, and STIR images currently appears optimal for MR imaging of spinal neoplasms. T2-weighted spin-echo images add information only in occasional cases.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Pentetic Acid*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / secondary


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium DTPA