Riederer, I; Karampinos, D C; Settles, M; Preibisch, C; Bauer, J S; Kleine, J F; Mühlau, M; Zimmer, C
Double inversion recovery sequence of the cervical spinal cord in multiple sclerosis and related inflammatory diseases.
MR imaging plays an important role in diagnosing MS and other related inflammatory diseases; however, imaging of the spinal cord is still challenging. We hypothesized that a 3D double inversion recovery sequence for cervical spinal cord imaging would be more sensitive in detecting inflammatory lesions than a conventional 2D T2-weighted TSE sequence at 3T.On a 3T MR imaging scanner, we examined 30 patients with suspected or established MS (MS, n = 16; clinically isolated syndrome, n = 12; isolated myelitis, n = 2) and 10 healthy controls. Newly developed 3D double inversion recovery and conventional 2D axial and sagittal T2-weighted TSE images of the cervical spinal cord were acquired. Two blinded neuroradiologists independently assessed the scans in pseudorandomized order for lesion numbers and rated lesion visibility and overall image quality on 5-point scales. A subsequent consensus reading delivered definite lesion counts. Standardized contrast-to-noise ratios were calculated in representative lesions of each patient.Overall, 28% more lesions could be detected with 3D double inversion recovery than with conventional T2WI (119 versus 93, P< .002). On average, the standardized contrast-to-noise ratio was significantly higher (P< .001) in double inversion recovery than in T2WI. Lesion visibility was rated significantly higher (P< .001) in double inversion recovery compared with T2WI despite lower image quality.The novel 3D double inversion recovery sequence allowed better detection of lesions in MS and related inflammatory diseases of the cervical spinal cord, compared with conventional 2D T2WI.