Rationale and objectives: The purpose of this investigation is to compare a fat-suppressed T2-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) sequence in bone marrow abnormalities with an FSE STIR sequence that recently has become commercially available.
Methods: Fast spin-echo images (repetition time [TR], 3500-5000 mseconds; echo time [TE], 96-114 mseconds) and FSE STIR images (TR, 3000-5000 mseconds; TE, 32-40 mseconds; inversion time [TI], 140-150 mseconds) were compared quantitatively and qualitatively calculating signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs), and lesion conspicuity and using a qualitative scoring system.
Results: Signal-to-noise ratio (mean +/- standard deviation) was 36.4 +/- 19.3 for the FSE and 29.0 +/- 15.9 for the FSE STIR images (P = .002). Contrast-to-noise ratio (mean +/- standard deviation) was 18.7 +/- 14.3 for the FSE and 20.3 +/- 16.0 for the FSE STIR images (P = .45). Lesion conspicuity (mean +/- standard deviation) was 1.7 +/- 1.5 for the FSE and 3.5 +/- 4.0 for the FSE STIR images (P = .025). The most important difference in the qualitative evaluation related to the better signal homogeneity on the FSE STIR images.
Conclusions: Fast spin-echo STIR images may be preferable to FSE images with fat suppression due to better image homogeneity and lesion conspicuity.