Purpose: To evaluate a fast three-dimensional (3D) sequence that permits the acquisition of 16 T2-weighted images within a 29-second breath hold for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the liver.
Materials and methods: Eighty-seven patients with focal liver lesions were examined at 1.5 T by using a 3D reversed fast imaging with steady-state precession (PSIF) sequence at flip angles of 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 70 degrees and a T2-weighted spin-echo (SE) sequence. Quantitative and qualitative image analysis was performed.
Results: Contrast and signal difference-to-noise ratios were 56% and 33% (liver-spleen) and 76% and 68% (liver-tumor), respectively, with the 3D-PSIF sequence compared with the T2-weighted SE sequence. With 3D-PSIF, overall image quality was poorer than that of the T2-weighted SE sequence at flip angles of 15 degrees but was similar at 30 degrees and 70 degrees. At low flip angles (15 degrees and 30 degrees) all lesion types were hyperintense. At a flip angle of 70 degrees, it was predominantly cysts and hemangiomas that showed high signal intensity. With the 3D-PSIF sequence, intrahepatic vessels are void of signal and can be better distinguished from small liver lesions compared with the flow-compensated T2-weighted SE sequence.
Conclusion: The fast 3D-PSIF sequence is a valuable addition to MR imaging of the liver.