Brain Tumor-enhancement visualization and morphometric assessment: A comparison of MPRAGE, SPACE, and VIBE MRI techniques

L. Danieli, G. C. Riccitelli, D. Distefano, E. Prodi, E. Ventura, A. Cianfoni, A. Kaelin-Lang, M. Reinert, E. Pravatà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Postgadolinium MR imaging is crucial for brain tumor diagnosis and morphometric assessment. We compared brain tumor enhancement visualization and the "target" object morphometry obtained with the most commonly used 3D MR imaging technique, MPRAGE, with 2 other routinely available techniques: Sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts by using different flip angle evolutions (SPACE) and volumetric interpolated brain examination (VIBE). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-four contrast-enhancing tumors (38 gliomas and 16 metastases) were assessed using MPRAGE, VIBE, and SPACE techniques randomly acquired after gadolinium-based contrast agent administration on a 3T scanner. Enhancement conspicuity was assessed quantitatively by calculating the contrast rate and contrast-to-noise ratio, and qualitatively, by consensus visual comparative ratings. The total enhancing tumor volume and between-sequence discrepancy in the margin delineation were assessed on the corresponding 3D target objects contoured with a computer-assisted software for neuronavigation. The Wilcoxon signed rank and Pearson 2 nonparametric tests were used to investigate between-sequence discrepancies in the contrast rate, contrast-to-noise ratio, visual conspicuity ratings, tumor volume, and margin delineation estimates. Differences were also tested for 1D (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) and 2D (Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology) measurements. RESULTS: Compared with MPRAGE, both SPACE and VIBE obtained higher contrast rate, contrast-to-noise ratio, and visual conspicuity ratings in both gliomas and metastases (P range,<.001-.001). The between-sequence 3D target object margin discrepancy ranged between 3% and 19.9% of lesion tumor volume. Larger tumor volumes, 1D and 2D measurements were obtained with SPACE (P range, <.01-.007). CONCLUSIONS: Superior conspicuity for brain tumor enhancement can be achieved using SPACE and VIBE techniques, compared with MPRAGE. Discrepancies were also detected when assessing target object size and morphology, with SPACE providing more accurate estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1148
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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