Purpose: To evaluate the detection of brain lesions with echo-planar imaging relative to conventional spin-echo (SE) imaging.
Materials and methods: In 17 patients (three men, 14 women; mean age, 31 years) with multiple sclerosis, the following were compared: single-shot proton-density- and T2-weighted and thin-section T2-weighted echo-planar, proton-density- and T2-weighted multishot echo-planar, and conventional SE sequences. Quantitative and qualitative criteria as well as lesion detectability were evaluated. The proton-density-weighted SE sequence was used as the standard of reference.
Results: Multishot sequences were superior to single-shot sequences in image quality and lesion detectability. With the multishot proton-density-weighted sequence, 53 of 54 large lesions and 23 of 30 small lesions were detected; with the single-shot proton-density-weighted sequence, 38 of 54 large lesions and five of 30 small lesions were detected.
Conclusion: With multishot echo-planar sequences, detectability of large lesions is similar to that with conventional SE imaging. Susceptibility artifact is diminished in comparison to single-shot echo-planar sequences.