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Application of MRI ultrashort echo time and gradient echo sequence in the lungs of preterm infants
SONG Yu  NING Gang  LI Xuesheng  CHEN Xijian  LIAO Yi 

Cite this article as: Song Y, Ning G, Li XS, et al. Application of MRI ultrashort echo time and gradient echo sequence in the lungs of preterm infants[J]. Chin J Magn Reson Imaging, 2022, 13(6): 102-107. DOI:10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.06.020.

[Abstract] Objective To explore the feasibility of three-dimensions ultra short echo time (3D UTE) sequence and three-dimensions gradient echo (3D GRE) sequence for magnetic resonance imaging of preterm infants' lungs, and to optimize magnetic resonance sequence scanning parameters.Materials and Methods Prospectively enrolled 95 preterm infants, 50 male infants and 45 female infants who underwent pulmonary MR examinations in our hospital from March to July 2021, aged from 1 day to 1 year and 10 months, and the median age was 5 months. All volunteers performed lung magnetic resonance examinations on the United Imaging 3.0 T pediatric specific magnetic resonance equipment (UIH uMR Alpha). The scanning sequence included 3D UTE and 3D GRE sequences. Each sequence uses different scanning parameters for sequence debugging. According to different scanning parameters, all subjects were randomly divided into five groups in 3D UTE sequence: Group 1 (18 cases), Group 2 (17 cases), Group 3 (19 cases), Group 4 (21 cases) and Group 5 (20 cases). 3D GRE sequence were randomly divided into four groups: Group Ⅰ (24 cases), Group Ⅱ (22 cases), Group Ⅲ (23 cases) and Group Ⅳ (26 cases). Two radiologists evaluated the image quality at different scanning parameters using objective evaluation methods. The objective evaluation indicators include signal noise ratio (SNR) and contrast noise ratio (CNR). Scanning time among different groups were further compared.Results There were statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in SNR and CNR of lung images at different scanning parameters for the 3D UTE and 3D GRE sequences. In the 3D UTE sequence, the SNR and CNR of Group 1, 2, and 3 were significantly different from those of Group 4 and 5, respectively (P<0.05), while there was no significant difference in image quality between Group 4 and 5 (P<0.05). Meanwhile, the scanning time was reduced by 77.95%, 75.55% and 6.67% in Group 4 compared with Group 1, 2, and 3, and 76.06% and 73.45% in Group 5 compared with Groups 1 and 2, respectively. In the 3D GRE sequence, the SNR and CNR of Group Ⅰ and Ⅱ were statistically significant (P<0.05) compared with those in the Group Ⅲ and Ⅳ, respectively, while no statistically significant differences were seen in the image quality between the Group Ⅲ and Ⅳ (P>0.05). Meanwhile, the scan time was reduced by 70.80% and 24.24% in Group Ⅲ compared with Group Ⅰ and Ⅱ, respectively, and 40.71% in Group Ⅳ compared with Group Ⅰ, while the image quality was significantly improved.Conclusions 3D UTE and 3D GRE sequences are feasible for MRI of the of preterm infants' lungs. The recommended scanning parameters for 3D UTE sequences are the Group 4 and 5, and the recommended scanning parameters for 3D GRE are the Group Ⅲ and Ⅳ. While ensuring high image quality, it greatly shortens the clinical scan time, and improves the success rate of examinations.
[Keywords] preterm infants;magnetic resonance imaging;three-dimensional ultrashort echo time sequence;three-dimensional gradient echo sequence;image quality

SONG Yu1, 2   NING Gang1, 2   LI Xuesheng1, 2   CHEN Xijian1, 2   LIAO Yi1, 2*  

1 Department of Radiology, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China

2 Key Laboratory of Obstetric & Gynecologic and Pediatric Diseases and Birth Defects of Ministry of Education, Chengdu 610041, China

Liao Y, E-mail:

Conflicts of interest   None.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS National Key Research and Development Program (No. 2017YFC0109004).
Received  2021-09-18
Accepted  2022-05-18
DOI: 10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.06.020
Cite this article as: Song Y, Ning G, Li XS, et al. Application of MRI ultrashort echo time and gradient echo sequence in the lungs of preterm infants[J]. Chin J Magn Reson Imaging, 2022, 13(6): 102-107. DOI:10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2022.06.020.

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