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High resolution MRI of the mandibular canal at 1.5T: A comparison of gradient and spin echo sequences

: Kreutner, Jakob; Hopfgartner, Andreas; Weber, Daniel; Boldt, Julian; Rottner, Kurt; Richter, Ernst; Jakob, Peter M.; Haddad, Daniel


Dento-maxillo-facial radiology 46 (2017), No.2, Art. 20160268
ISSN: 0250-832X
ISSN: 0349-490X
ISSN: 1476-542X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IIS ()
Medizintechnik; medizinische BV

Objectives: The precision of localizing the mandibular canal prior to surgical intervention depends on the achievable resolution, while identification of the nerve depends on the image contrast. In our study we developed new protocols based on gradient and spin echo sequences. The results from both sequences were quantitatively compared for their agreement to identify the most suitable approach.
Methods: By limiting the field of view to one side of the mandible, 3D acquisitions with T1-weighted gradient and spin echo sequences were performed with 0.5x0.5x0.5mm³ resolution within 6.5min covering the mandibular canal from the mandibular to the mental foramen. Aliasing artifacts were suppressed by different techniques. A manual segmentation of the mandibular canal from seven healthy volunteers was performed on this section by three different observers. Surface distance of the segmented volumes was computed between both sequences as well as between the different observers as a measure of equality.
Results: The quantitative comparison of the segmentation resulted in an average surface distance of (0.26±0.05) mm between both sequences and an inter-observer difference of (0.26±0.08) mm for gradient and (0.29±0.07) mm for spin echo data. By repeated evaluation a difference of (0.15±0.02) mm for gradient and (0.18±0.03) mm for spin echo data was observed, indicating a slightly higher variability for spin echo images.
Conclusion: Both sequences can be used to achieve high resolution images with good contrast and can be used for precise localization of the mandibular canal. Despite a slightly increased difference for the spin echo data, the advantage of an easy and robust setup remains.