3.0- Versus 1.5-T MR cholangiography: A pilot study

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE. The purpose of our study was to evaluate quantitative and qualitative image quality of MR cholangiography at a field strength of 3.0 T compared with the standard field strength of 1.5 T. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A standardized MR cholangiography sequence protocol was used for 15 healthy male volunteers (mean age ± SD, 32.4 ± 4.3 years) who underwent both 1.5- and 3.0-T MRI within 2 hr in an alternating fashion. Dedicated circular polarized torso coils (1.5 and 3.0 T) were used. The sequence protocol included breath-hold single-slice rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (slice thickness, 50 mm; orientation, coronal and ± 20° oblique coronal); breath-hold multislice HASTE (slice thickness, 3 mm; coronal only); and a non-breath-hold, respiratory-triggered 3D turbo spin-echo (TSE) T2-weighted sequence (slice thickness, 1 mm; 60 slices per slab; coronal only). Maximum intensity projections were generated from each multislice data set. Bile duct (common bile duct, right posterior segmental branch, and left hepatic duct) to periductal tissue contrast-to-noise ratios were compared at 1.5 and 3.0 T. Qualitative image analysis was performed by three independent reviewers. Qualitative analysis included delineation of the extra- and intrahepatic biliary anatomy, with specific attention given to the presence (or absence) of cystic or intrahepatic ductal variants, using a 4-point confidence scale. Statistical analysis consisted of the paired Student's t test and the signed rank test. RESULTS. Contrast-to-noise ratios between the bile duct and the periductal tissue were higher at 3.0 T in all three locations (common bile duct, right posterior segmental branch, and left hepatic duct). In each magnet class, the 3D TSE sequence offered the best contrast-to-noise ratio and qualitative analysis. Superiority of the 3D TSE sequence was statistically significant in all analyses. Five of the 15 volunteers had intrahepatic biliary variants that were detected with a higher level of confidence (p < 0.01) on the 3.0-T system than on the 1.5-T system. CONCLUSION. Compared with MR cholangiography at 1.5 T, MR cholangiography at 3.0 T offers improved contrast-to-noise ratio and a higher level of confidence for depicting intrahepatic variants. © American Roentgen Ray Society.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 6746540
  • Author List

  • Merkle EM; Haugan PA; Thomas J; Jaffe TA; Gullotto C
  • Start Page

  • 516
  • End Page

  • 521
  • Volume

  • 186
  • Issue

  • 2