Fast spin-echo MR in the detection of vertebral metastases: Comparison of three sequences

K. M. Jones, R. B. Schwartz, M. T. Mantello, S. S. Ahn, R. Khorasani, S. Mukherji, K. Oshio, R. V. Mulkern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To examine the relative capabilities for the detection of vertebral metastases of three available fast spin-echo sequences: T1-weighted fast spin-echo, short tau inversion recovery (STIR) fast spin-echo, and T2- weighted fast spin-echo sequences with chemical shift selective saturation pulse fat suppression. METHODS: Fourteen patients were evaluated prospectively over a 2-month period with T1-weighted fast spin-echo (four echo train, four acquisitions, 1 min 59 sec-2 min 37 sec), STIR fast spin- echo (16 echo train, four acquisitions, 2 min 30 sec-3 min 19 sec), and T2- weighted fast spin-echo (16 echo train, 4 acquisitions, 2 min 27 sec-3 min 16 sec). For all three pulse sequences, measurements were obtained of the signal intensities of normal marrow, abnormal marrow, fat, and noise posterior to the spine. Contrast-to-noise ratios were calculated for metastases in each case. Lesions were evaluated by three observers and rated for size, location, and conspicuity. RESULTS: Signal intensities of fat, normal marrow, and noise were highest for T1-weighted fast spin-echo sequences. STIR fast spin-echo and fat-suppressed T2-weighted fast spin-echo had approximately similar fat- suppression capabilities. Though contrast-to-noise ratios were highest overall for STIR fast spin-echo, the finding was not statistically significant and lesion conspicuity was deemed better with fat-suppressed T2- weighted fast spin-echo and T1-weighted fast spin-echo images. Discrete lesions were well identified on all three pulse sequences. CONCLUSION: Fast spin-echo sequences appear promising for the detection of vertebral metastases. Further work should be directed toward comparison with conventional spin-echo to determine whether fast spin-echo may replace conventional spin-echo sequences for evaluation of vertebral metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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