Document Detail

"Black bone" MRI: a partial flip angle technique for radiation reduction in craniofacial imaging.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22391497     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The potential harmful effects of ionising radiation continue to be highlighted. Radiation reduction techniques have largely consisted of low-dose techniques rather than a shift to non-ionising methods of imaging. CT scanning is frequently employed for imaging the craniofacial skeleton despite being one of the key anatomical regions for radiation protection in view of the radiosensitive lens and thyroid gland. We describe a low flip angle gradient echo MRI sequence which provides high image contrast between bone and other tissues but reduces the contrast between individual soft tissues. This permits the "black bone" to be easily distinguished from the uniformity of the soft tissues. While maintaining a repetition time of 8.6 ms and an echo time of 4.2 ms, the flip angle which provided optimised suppression of both fat and water was identified to be 5°. The biometric accuracy of this sequence was confirmed using a phantom to obtain direct anatomical measurements and comparable CT scanning. The average discrepancy between black bone MRI measurements and direct anatomical measurements was 0.32 mm. Black bone MRI therefore has the potential to reduce radiation exposure by replacing CT scanning when imaging the facial skeleton, with particular scope for imaging benign conditions in the young.
K A Eley; A G McIntyre; S R Watt-Smith; S J Golding
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of radiology     Volume:  85     ISSN:  1748-880X     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Radiol     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-06     Completed Date:  2012-04-23     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373125     Medline TA:  Br J Radiol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  272-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, Level 6, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford OX39DU, UK. E-mail:
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MeSH Terms
Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
Connective Tissue / anatomy & histology
Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
Observer Variation
Phantoms, Imaging
Skull / anatomy & histology*
Erratum In:
Br J Radiol. 2012 May;85(1013):659

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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