Purpose: To evaluate a breath-hold fast spin-echo (SE) technique for T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of liver lesions.
Materials and methods: A fast SE technique was developed that enabled six sections to be imaged per 16-second breath hold with a single echo. Resulting images were compared with those obtained with the first echo of a conventional dual-echo T2-weighted SE sequence (16 minutes 55 seconds for 18 sections). Thirty-one patients with malignant focal hepatic lesions were studied prospectively. The images were compared quantitatively and qualitatively.
Results: Quantitatively, the contrast and contrast-to-noise ratios for the fast SE images were 20% +/- 5 and 19% +/- 8 greater, respectively, than those for the conventional T2-weighted SE images of the 54 representative lesions. Qualitatively, fast SE images had less image artifact, enabled comparable or better lesion sizing, and greatly improved depiction of extrahepatic structures compared with conventional T2-weighted SE images.
Conclusion: The fast SE technique with breath holding provides diagnostically useful liver images in a greatly decreased acquisition time.