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Detection of Brain Metastases by 3-Dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging at 3 T: Comparison Between T1-Weighted Volume Isotropic Turbo Spin Echo Acquisition and 3-Dimensional T1-Weighted Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery Imaging

Yoshida, Atsushi MD; Tha, Khin Khin MD, PhD; Fujima, Noriyuki MD, PhD; Zaitsu, Yuri MD, PhD; Yoshida, Daisuke MD; Tsukahara, Akiko MD; Onodera, Shunsuke MD, PhD; Shirato, Hiroki MD, PhD; Terae, Satoshi MD, PhD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January/February 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 84–90
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318271f216

Objective: This study aimed to compare the diagnostic performance in the detection of brain metastases between contrast-enhanced T1-weighted volume isotropic turbo spin echo acquisition (T1-VISTA) and 3-dimensional T1-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (3D-T1-FLAIR) imaging at 3 T.

Methods: Two neuroradiologists selected 129 true (metastases) and 70 false (vessels and artifacts) lesions on the contrast-enhanced T1-VISTA and 3D-T1-FLAIR images of 14 cancer patients with hyperintense brain lesions. Four blinded neuroradiologists distinguished between the true and false lesions, using a 5-point confidence rating scale. The receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to compare the diagnostic performance. Contrast-to-noise ratio of the true lesions was also compared between the 2 sequences by using paired t tests.

Results: For lesions less than 3 mm, the area under curve and sensitivity achieved by T1-VISTA imaging were significantly greater than 3D-T1-FLAIR imaging. The contrast-to-noise ratio was also significantly greater with T1-VISTA imaging.

Conclusions: The contrast-enhanced T1-VISTA imaging is better suited than 3D-T1-FLAIR imaging, for detection of small metastases.

From the Department of Radiation Medicine, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.

Received for publication August 16, 2012; accepted August 30, 2012.

Reprints: Khin Khin Tha, MD, PhD, Department of Radiation Medicine, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, N-15, W-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8638, Japan (e-mail:

This work was supported by Creation of Innovation Centers for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Areas Program of Project for Developing Innovation Systems of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Japanese Government.

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.