OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to compare free-breathing radially sampled 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo acquisitions (radial volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination [VIBE]) with a T1-weighted turbo spin-echo (TSE) sequence for contrast-enhanced spinal imaging of children with CNS tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Twenty-eight consecutively registered children with CNS tumors underwent evaluation of leptomeningeal seeding with 1.5-T MRI that included both radial VIBE and T1-weighted TSE sequences. For qualitative analysis, overall image quality; presence of motion, CSF flow, and radial artifacts; and lesion conspicuity were retrospectively assessed with scoring systems. The signal-intensity uniformity of each sequence was evaluated for quantitative comparison. The acquisition times for each sequence were compared. RESULTS. Images obtained with the radial VIBE sequence had a higher overall image quality score than did T1-weighted TSE images (3.61 ± 0.73 vs 2.80 ± 0.69, p ≤ 0.001) and lower motion artifact (0.82 ± 0.43 vs 1.29 ± 0.56, p = 0.001) and CSF flow artifact (0 vs 1.68 ± 0.67, p ≤ 0.001) scores. Radial artifacts were found only on radial VIBE images (1.36 ± 0.31 vs 0, p ≤ 0.001). In 13 patients with spinal seeding nodules, radial VIBE images showed greater lesion conspicuity than did T1-weighted TSE images (4.23 ± 0.52 vs 2.47 ± 0.57, p = 0.005). Radial VIBE images had diminished signal-intensity variation compared with T1-weighted TSE images in air, spine, and muscle (p ≤ 0.01). The mean acquisition times were not significantly different between the two sequences (p = 0.117). CONCLUSION. For pediatric spinal imaging, radial VIBE images had better image quality and lesion conspicuity and fewer CSF and respiratory motion artifacts than did T1-weighted TSE images in a similar acquisition time.
- Leptomeningeal seeding
- Radial sampling