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.