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Efficiency of Fat Suppression in T1-Weighted Inner Ear Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Multipoint Dixon Method Versus Hybrid Techniques

Background: Temporal bone is a region where fat suppression is difficult due to the inhomogeneity of various structures with different molecular properties.

Introduction: We aimed to determine the most effective fat suppression sequence in order to increase the visibility of the inner ear region.

Methods: The hybrid techniques and T1-Weighted mDIXON images of 40 patients with Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging of the inner ear were prospectively compared by two experienced radiologists in terms of fat suppression efficacy. In all fat-suppressed sequences, the signal to noise ratio (SNR), the spinal cord signal intensity / mean fat signal intensity ratio and spinal cord signal to noise ratio were calculated. Suppression efficacy of MR techniques for fat areas in the inner ear were visually graded.

Results: Qualitative assessment of image quality due to fat suppression in the inner ear; the Dixon technique showed significantly better than SPAIR and SPIR techniques (p<0.0001). Mean signal intensity of the inner ear fat and SNR for Dixon technique were significantly lower than that for SPIR and SPAIR techniques (p<0.0001). Inter-observer agreement for the measurement of the inner ear fat mean signal intensity values and mean SNR values for fat suppression techniques were excellent.

Conclusion: The Dixon technique has higher image quality and fat suppression efficiency than the hybrid techniques in MR imaging of the inner ear.

Journal Title: Current Medical Imaging

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