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Kamlesh B. Patel, Cihat Eldeniz, Gary B. Skolnick, Udayabhanu Jammalamadaka, Paul K. Commean, Manu S. Goyal, Matthew D. Smyth, and Hongyu An

OBJECTIVE

There is an unmet need to perform imaging in young children and obtain CT-equivalent cranial bone images without subjecting the patients to radiation. In this study, the authors propose using a high-resolution fast low-angle shot golden-angle 3D stack-of-stars radial volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (GA-VIBE) MRI sequence that is intrinsically robust to motion and has enhanced bone versus soft-tissue contrast.

METHODS

Patients younger than 11 years of age, who underwent clinical head CT scanning for craniosynostosis or other cranial malformations, were eligible for the study. 3D reconstructed images created from the GA-VIBE MRI sequence and the gold-standard CT scan were randomized and presented to 3 blinded reviewers. For all image sets, each reviewer noted the presence or absence of the 6 primary cranial sutures and recorded on 5-point Likert scales whether they recommended a second scan be performed.

RESULTS

Eleven patients (median age 1.8 years) underwent MRI after clinical head CT scanning was performed. Five of the 11 patients were sedated. Three clinicians reviewed the images, and there were no cases, either with CT scans or MR images, in which a reviewer agreed a repeat scan was required for diagnosis or surgical planning. The reviewers reported clear imaging of the regions of interest on 99% of the CT reviews and 96% of the MRI reviews. With CT as the standard, the sensitivity and specificity of the GA-VIBE MRI sequence to detect suture closure were 97% and 96%, respectively (n = 198 sutures read).

CONCLUSIONS

The 3D reconstructed images using the GA-VIBE sequence in comparison to the CT scans created clinically acceptable cranial images capable of detecting cranial sutures. Future directions include reducing the scan time, improving motion correction, and automating postprocessing for clinical utility.

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Kamlesh B. Patel, Cihat Eldeniz, Gary B. Skolnick, Paul K. Commean, Parna Eshraghi Boroojeni, Udayabhanu Jammalamadaka, Corinne Merrill, Matthew D. Smyth, Manu S. Goyal, and Hongyu An

OBJECTIVE

Head trauma is the most common indication for a CT scan. In this pilot study, the authors assess the feasibility of a 5-minute high-resolution 3D golden-angle (GA) stack-of-stars radial volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) MRI sequence (GA-VIBE) to obtain clinically acceptable cranial bone images and identify cranial vault fractures compared to CT.

METHODS

Patients younger than 18 years of age presenting after head trauma were eligible for the study. Three clinicians reviewed and assessed 1) slice-by-slice volumetric CT and inverted MR images, and 2) 3D reconstructions obtained from inverted MR images and the gold standard (CT). For each image set, reviewers noted on 5-point Likert scales whether they recommended that a repeat scan be performed and the presence or absence of cranial vault fractures.

RESULTS

Thirty-one patients completed MRI after a clinical head CT scan was performed. Based on CT imaging, 8 of 31 patients had cranial fractures. Two of 31 patients were sedated as part of their clinical MRI scan. In 30 (97%) of 31 MRI reviews, clinicians agreed (or strongly agreed) that the image quality was acceptable for clinical diagnosis. Overall, comparing MRI to acceptable gold-standard CT, sensitivity and specificity of fracture detection were 100%. Furthermore, there were no discrepancies between CT and MRI in classification of fracture type or location.

CONCLUSIONS

When compared with the gold standard (CT), the volumetric and 3D reconstructed images using the GA-VIBE sequence were able to produce clinically acceptable cranial images with excellent ability to detect cranial vault fractures.