Variable echo time imaging for detecting the short T2* components of the sciatic nerve: a validation study

Paolo Florent Felisaz, Eugenio Belatti, Xeni Deligianni, Niels Bergsland, Francesco Santini, Matteo Paoletti, Francesca Solazzo, Giancarlo Germani, Andrea Cortese, Elisa Vegezzi, Oliver Bieri, Stefano Bastianello, Anna Pichiecchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop and validate an MRI protocol based on a variable echo time (vTE) sensitive to the short T2* components of the sciatic nerve. Materials and methods: 15 healthy subjects (M/F: 9/6; age: 21–62) were scanned at 3T targeting the sciatic nerve at the thigh bilaterally, using a dual echo variable echo time (vTE) sequence (based on a spoiled gradient echo acquisition) with echo times of 0.98/5.37 ms. Apparent T2* (aT2*) values of the sciatic nerves were calculated with a mono-exponential fit and used for data comparison. Results: There were no significant differences in aT2* related to side, sex, age, and BMI, even though small differences for side were reported. Good-to-excellent repeatability and reproducibility were found for geometry of ROIs (Dice indices: intra-rater 0.68–0.7; inter-rater 0.70–0.72) and the related aT2* measures (intra-inter reader ICC 0.95–0.97; 0.66–0.85) from two different operators. Side-related signal-to-noise-ratio non-significant differences were reported, while contrast-to-noise-ratio measures were excellent both for side and echo. Discussion: Our study introduces a novel MR sequence sensitive to the short T2* components of the sciatic nerve and may be used for the study of peripheral nerve disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Fibrosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Peripheral nerves
  • Validation study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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