Background: Single-shot fast spin echo (SSFSE) is particularly appealing in pediatric patients because of its motion robustness. However radiofrequency energy deposition at 3 tesla forces long pauses between slices, leading to longer scans, longer breath-holds and more between-slice motion. Objective: We sought to learn whether modulation of the SSFSE refocusing flip-angle train could reduce radiofrequency energy deposition without degrading image quality, thereby reducing inter-slice pauses and overall scan times. Materials and methods: We modulated the refocusing flip-angle train for SSFSE to minimize energy deposition while minimizing blurring and motion-related signal loss. In a cohort of 50 consecutive patients (25 boys, mean age 5.5 years, range 1 month to 17 years) referred for abdominal MRI we obtained standard SSFSE and variable refocusing flip-angle (vrfSSFSE) images and recorded sequence scan times. Two readers independently scored the images in blinded, randomized order for noise, tissue contrast, sharpness, artifacts and left lobe hepatic signal uniformity on a four-point scale. The null hypothesis of no difference between SSFSE and vrfSSFSE image-quality was assessed with a Mann–Whitney U test, and the null hypothesis of no scan time difference was assessed with the paired t-test. Results: SSFSE and vrfSSFSE mean acquisition times were 54.3 and 26.2 s, respectively (P-value <0.0001). For each reader, SSFSE and vrfSSFSE noise, tissue contrast, sharpness and artifacts were not significantly different (P-values 0.18–0.86). However, SSFSE had better left lobe hepatic signal uniformity (P < 0.01, both readers). Conclusion: vrfSSFSE is twice as fast as SSFSE, with equivalent image quality with the exception of left hepatic lobe signal heterogeneity.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Motion artifact
- Single-shot fast spin echo
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging