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Modified respiratory-triggered SPACE sequences for magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography.

BACKGROUND: Respiratory-triggered (RT) and breath-hold are the most common acquisition modalities for magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). The present study compared the three different acquisition modalities for optimizing the use of MRCP in patients with diseases of the pancreatic and biliary systems.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three MRCP acquisition modalities were used in this study: conventional respiratory-triggered sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts using different flip evolutions (RT-SPACE), modified RT-SPACE, and breath-hold (BH)-SPACE. Fifty-eight patients with clinically suspected pancreatic and biliary system disease were included. All image data were acquired on a 1.5 T MR. Scan time and image quality were compared between the three acquisition modalities. Friedman test, which was followed by post-hoc analysis, was performed among triple-scan protocol.

RESULTS: There was a significant difference in the mean acquisition time among conventional RT-SPACE, modified RT-SPACE, and BH-SPACE (167.41±32.11 seconds vs 50.84±73.78 seconds vs 18.00 seconds, P <0.001). Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were also significantly different among the three groups ( P <0.001). The SNR and CNR were higher in the RT-SPACE group than in the BH-SPACE group ( P <0.05). However, there were no statistically significant differences ( P >0.05) among the 3 groups regarding quality of overall image, image clarity, background inhibition, and visualization of the pancreatic and biliary system.

CONCLUSIONS: MRCP acquisition with the modified RT-SPACE sequence greatly shortens the acquisition time with comparable quality images. The MRCP acquisition modality could be designed based on the patient's situation to improve the examination pass rate and obtain excellent images for diagnosis.

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