Publication Details
Ophelye Chiabai, Sandy Van Nieuwenhove, Marie-Christiane Vekemans, Bertrand Tombal, Frank Peeters, Joris Wuts, Perrine Triqueneaux, Patrick Omoumi, Thomas Kirchgesner, Nicolas Michoux, Frederic E. Lecouvet

European Radiology

Contribution To Journal


Objectives: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of a single T2 Dixon sequence to the combination T1+STIR as anatomical sequences used for detecting tumoral bone marrow lesions in whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) examinations. Methods: Between January 2019 and January 2020, seventy-two consecutive patients (55 men, 17 women, median age = 66 years) with solid (prostate, breast, neuroendocrine) cancers at high risk of metastasis or proven multiple myeloma (MM) prospectively underwent a WB-MRI examination including coronal T1, STIR, T2 Dixon and axial diffusion-weighted imaging sequences. Two radiologists independently assessed the combination of T1+STIR sequences and the fat+water reconstructions from the T2 Dixon sequence. The reference standard was established by consensus reading of WB-MRI and concurrent imaging available at baseline and at 6 months. Repeatability and reproducibility of MRI scores (presence and semi-quantitative count of lesions), image quality (SNR: signal-to-noise, CNR: contrast-to-noise, CRR: contrast-to-reference ratios), and diagnostic characteristics (Se: sensitivity, Sp: specificity, Acc: accuracy) were assessed per-skeletal region and per-patient. Results: Repeatability and reproducibility were at least good regardless of the score, region, and protocol (0.67 = AC1 = 0.98). CRR was higher on T2 Dixon fat compared to T1 (p < 0.0001) and on T2 Dixon water compared to STIR (p = 0.0128). In the per-patient analysis, Acc of the T2 Dixon fat+water was higher than that of T1+STIR for the senior reader (Acc = +0.027 [+0.025 +0.029], p < 0.0001) and lower for the junior reader (Acc = -0.029 [-0.031 -0.027], p < 0.0001). Conclusions: A single T2 Dixon sequence with fat+water reconstructions offers similar reproducibility and diagnostic accuracy as the recommended combination of T1+STIR sequences and can be used for skeletal screening in oncology, allowing significant time-saving. Key Points: • Replacement of the standard anatomic T1 + STIR WB-MRI protocol by a single T2 Dixon sequence drastically shortens the examination time without loss of diagnostic accuracy. • A protocol based on fat + water reconstructions from a single T2 Dixon sequence offers similar inter-reader agreement and a higher contrast-to-reference ratio for detecting lesions compared to the standard T1 + STIR protocol. • Differences in the accuracy between the two protocols are marginal (+ 3% in favor of the T2 Dixon with the senior reader -3% against the T2 Dixon with the junior reader).

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