BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Early accurate diagnosis of brain metastases is crucial for a patient's prognosis. This study aimed to compare the conspicuity and detectability of small brain metastases between contrast-enhanced 3D fast spin-echo (sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts by using different flip angle evolutions) and 3D gradient-echo (GE) T1-weighted (magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition of GE [MPRAGE]) images at 3T. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty-nine consecutive patients with suspected brain metastases were evaluated prospectively by using SPACE and MPRAGE on a 3T MR imaging system. After careful evaluation by 2 experienced neuroradiologists, 92 lesions from 16 patients were selected as brain metastases. We compared the shorter diameter, contrast rate (CR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of each lesion. Diagnostic ability was compared by using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Ten radiologists (5 neuroradiologists and 5 residents) participated in the reading. RESULTS: The mean diameter was significantly larger by using SPACE than MPRAGE (mean, 4.5 ± 3.7 versus 4.3 ± 3.7 mm, P = .0014). The CR and CNR of SPACE (mean, 57.3 ± 47.4%, 3.0 ± 1.9, respectively) were significantly higher than those of MPRAGE (mean, 37.9 ± 41.2%, 2.6 ± 2.2; P < .0001, P = .04). The mean area under the ROC curve was significantly larger with SPACE than with MPRAGE (neuroradiologists, 0.99 versus 0.88, P = .013; residents, 0.99 versus 0.78, P = .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Lesion detectability was significantly higher on SPACE than on MPRAGE, irrespective of the experience of the reader in neuroradiology. SPACE should be a promising diagnostic technique for assessing brain metastases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology