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Gadolinium-Enhanced Liver Magnetic Resonance Imaging Using a 2-Point Dixon Fat-Water Separation Technique: Impact Upon Image Quality and Lesion Detection

Rosenkrantz, Andrew B. MD; Mannelli, Lorenzo MD; Kim, Sungheon PhD; Babb, James S. PhD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January-February 2011 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 96-101
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3181f3d57e
Original Articles

Purpose: To compare image quality and lesion detection in postcontrast liver magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) sequences that achieve fat suppression via chemically selective fat saturation (FS-VIBE) and a 2-point Dixon water-fat separation method (Dixon-VIBE).

Materials and Methods: Thirty patients underwent contrast-enhanced liver MRI at 1.5 T in which Dixon-VIBE was performed immediately after a delayed FS-VIBE. Two radiologists in consensus reviewed the sequences for a variety of qualitative and quantitative image quality measures and for lesion detection.

Results: Dixon-VIBE received nearly perfect scores for strength and homogeneity of fat suppression that were significantly better than scores for FS-VIBE, with an associated significant improvement in liver-fat contrast (P < 0.0001 for all comparisons). Dixon-VIBE also received significantly better scores for sharpness of intrahepatic vessels (P = 0.0029) and overall image quality (P < 0.0001). Despite a slightly longer acquisition time for Dixon-VIBE, there was no significant difference in motion artifact (P = 0.3877). There was no significant difference for sensitivity, positive predictive value, or contrast relative to background liver for focal lesions (P = 0.448, P = 0.347, and P = 0.2312, respectively).

Conclusions: For postcontrast liver MRI, Dixon-VIBE demonstrated significantly improved fat suppression. Various assessments of lesion detection showed no significant difference between sequences.

From the Department of Radiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.

Received for publication April 15, 2010; accepted July 6, 2010.

Reprints: Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, MD, Department of Radiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, 550 First Ave, New York, NY 10016 (e-mail:

This study has no sources of support/funding.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.