Value of Enhancement Technique in 3D-T2-STIR Images of the Brachial Plexus

Chen, Wen-Chang MS*; Tsai, Yuan-Hsiung MD, PhD; Weng, Hsu-Huei MD, PhD; Wang, Shih-Chorng MS*; Liu, Ho-Ling PhD; Peng, Shin-Lei MS§; Chen, Chih-Feng MD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May/June 2014 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 335–339
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000061
Musculoskeletal Imaging

Objective: Imaging the brachial plexus is a challenge because of its complicated structure. The purpose of this study is to improve the diagnostic ability for brachial plexus via 3-dimensional T2-weighted short inversion time inversion recovery (3D-T2-STIR) technique with contrast agent administration.

Methods: Thirty patients with brachial plexopathies were recruited. The STIR sequences without and with contrast agent administration were performed on each subject. The grade of the diagnostic ability and the contrast ratio were assessed.

Results: After contrast agent administration, signals of the adjacent vessels were suppressed because of reduced T1 relaxation time similar to that of fat tissues. The outlines of nerves would be prominent with respect to surrounding tissues. Both diagnostic ability and contrast ratio were improved on 3D-T2-STIR with contrast agent administration.

Conclusions: The maximum-intensity projection image of 3D-T2-STIR technique with contrast agent was superior to that without. It might be a better way to evaluate anatomies and pathologies of the brachial plexus. These advantages would improve the understanding and neurosurgical planning for brachial plexopathies in the future.

From the *Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi Branch, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi; †Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi Branch, Chang Gung University; and ‡Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Science, Chung Gung University, Taoyuan; and §Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Received for publication November 11, 2013; accepted December 10, 2013.

Reprints: Chih-Feng Chen, MD, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chiayi Branch, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan (e-mail: xfroggykimo@yahoo.com.tw).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.