Quantitative comparison of conventional spin echo and fast spin echo during brain myelination

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1997 Nov-Dec;21(6):867-71. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199711000-00004.


Purpose: Fast SE (FSE) sequences have largely replaced conventional SE (CSE) T2-weighted sequences in the brain and have been generally accepted as qualitatively comparable. The purpose of the present study was to subject these sequences to a quantitative comparative analysis in the brain.

Method: A quantitative analysis of relative signal intensities of white and gray matter was performed comparing CSE and FSE T2-weighted sequences in brains of 20 children at varying stages of myelination.

Results and conclusion: At all ages in individual patients, white matter had less signal intensity (SI) relative to gray matter on FSE than CSE, though the relative difference in SI was small. This resulted in white matter appearing slightly more myelinated on FSE than CSE. This difference is attributed to differences in magnetization transfer. In myelinated brain (white matter hypointense to gray matter), contrast-to-noise was greater with FSE, while in unmyelinated brain, contrast-to-noise was greater with CSE.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*