Purpose: To investigate the three-point Dixon technique as a method for obtaining fat-nulled images of contrast material-enhancing breast lesions with a 0.5-T open magnetic resonance (MR) imager.
Materials and methods: Real and imaginary source images were obtained with an interleaved gradient-echo sequence with a repetition time of 550 msec and echo times of 12.8, 19.8, and 26.8 msec. Twenty-four to 28 sections were obtained in the sagittal plane with a 90 degrees flip angle, 256 x 192 matrix, 3-4.5-mm section thickness, and acquisition time of 10 minutes 54 seconds. A three-point Dixon reconstruction algorithm was used to generate water-specific, fat-specific, and combined images from the raw image data. Twelve breasts in 10 patients and one healthy volunteer were imaged.
Results: Three-point Dixon images were superior to extended two-point Dixon and fat-suppressed images and to images generated by means of subtraction of three-dimensional fast spoiled gradient-echo images obtained before contrast material injection from those obtained after.
Conclusion: Three-point Dixon imaging provides a robust method for creating fat-nulled images of enhancing breast lesions in the 0.5-T open MR environment. Water-specific three-point Dixon images are successful in regions of B0 heterogeneity and are superior to fat-suppressed images. They are much less susceptible to motion artifact than are subtraction images.