Accelerated Post-contrast Wave-CAIPI T1 SPACE Achieves Equivalent Diagnostic Performance Compared With Standard T1 SPACE for the Detection of Brain Metastases in Clinical 3T MRI

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Background and Purpose: Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations using high-resolution 3D post-contrast sequences offer increased sensitivity for the detection of metastases in the central nervous system but are usually long exams. We evaluated whether the diagnostic performance of a highly accelerated Wave-controlled aliasing in parallel imaging (Wave-CAIPI) post-contrast 3D T1 SPACE sequence was non-inferior to the standard high-resolution 3D T1 SPACE sequence for the evaluation of brain metastases.

Materials and Methods: Thirty-three patients undergoing evaluation for brain metastases were prospectively evaluated with a standard post-contrast 3D T1 SPACE sequence and an optimized Wave-CAIPI 3D T1 SPACE sequence, which was three times faster than the standard sequence. Two blinded neuroradiologists performed a head-to-head comparison to evaluate the visualization of pathology, perception of artifacts, and the overall diagnostic quality. Wave–CAIPI post-contrast T1 SPACE was tested for non-inferiority relative to standard T1 SPACE using a 15% non-inferiority margin.

Results: Wave–CAIPI post-contrast T1 SPACE was non-inferior to the standard T1 SPACE for visualization of enhancing lesions (P < 0.01) and offered equivalent diagnostic quality performance and only marginally higher background noise compared to the standard sequence.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that Wave-CAIPI post-contrast T1 SPACE provides equivalent visualization of pathology and overall diagnostic quality with three times reduced scan time compared to the standard 3D T1 SPACE.

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