Contrast on T2-weighted images of the lumbar spine using fast spin-echo and gated conventional spin-echo sequences

Neuroradiology. 1995 Apr;37(3):183-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01578254.


A prospective study in 31 patients was designed to compare contrast quantitatively using axial conventional, gated spin-echo T2-weighted (T2W) (SE) (asymmetrical echo TE 30 and 80 ms) and axial dual-echo fast spin-echo (FSE) sequences (TEeff 20 and 120 ms) to image lumbar discs, nerve roots, and cerebrospinal fluid CSF. We used two quantitative measures, percent (%) contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), to compare the sequences. The FSE sequence had greater % contrast and CNR on the first and second echo images for both disc and nerve root detection using these scan parameters. An axial FSE sequence, therefore, provided contrast characteristics similar to those of gated axial T2W SE sequence in the lumbar spine, with a 60% saving in acquisition time. The FSE sequence is now our standard axial T2W study for the lumbar spine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnosis*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / pathology
  • Time Factors