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Multiple Sclerosis Brain Lesions: Is Short Tau Inversion Recovery Sequence Suitable in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation?

Purpose: To compare the sensitivity of Short Tau Inversion Recovery magnetic resonance sequence with Fast Spin-Echo T2-weighted and Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery magnetic resonance sequences in detection and evaluation of multiple sclerosis brain lesions.
Material and method: Fast Spin-Echo T2-weighted, Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery and Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences were performed in 7 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Qualitative assessment, regarding the number of lesions detected, conspicuity and lesion location was performed on all images in each sequence by two radiologists. Consensus was reached by agreement.
Results: When comparing Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences with Fast Spin-Echo sequences, Short Tau Inversion Recovery showed 51 lesions more than Fast Spin-Echo sequences and increased the number of lesions detected by 38% in posterior fossa and by 27% in juxtacortical locations. When comparing Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences with Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery sequences, Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequences showed 72 lesions more than Fluid-Attenuated Inversion Recovery sequences and increased the number of lesion detected by 86% in posterior fossa and by 24% in periventricular areas.
Conclusions: By increasing the sensitivity Short Tau Inversion Recovery sequence might be suitable as an additional sequence in routine magnetic resonance brain examinations in patients with multiple sclerosis. Although Short Tau Inversion Recovery provides essential supplementary information to conventional imaging for the visualization brain lesions in multiple sclerosis, especially in posterior fossa, it is not a substitute for other sequences.

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