Diffusion-prepared neurography of the brachial plexus with a large field-of-view at 3T

Jos Oudeman (Corresponding author), Bram F. Coolen, Valentina Mazzoli, Mario Maas, Camiel Verhamme, Wyger M. Brink, Andrew G. Webb, Gustav J. Strijkers, Aart J. Nederveen

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose To study diffusion-prepared neurography optimized for a large field-of-view (FOV) to include the neck and both shoulders. In a large FOV poor homogeneity of the magnetic field (B0) often leads to poor image quality and possibly to poor diagnostic accuracy. The aim was therefore to find an optimal (combination of) shimming method(s) for diffusion-prepared neurography in a large FOV. Materials and Methods A 3D diffusion-prepared sequence with a large FOV was tested with and without the use of a susceptibility-matched pillow combined with image-based (IB) or standard shimming in six healthy volunteers on a 3T system. B0, B1, signal to noise ratio (SNR), and contrast to noise ratio (CNR) were compared between all protocols. Additionally, nerve visibility, fat suppression, artifacts, and overall image quality were ordinally (5-point scale) assessed by two readers. Furthermore, correlations between B0 and B1 (offset and variation) and SNR, CNR, and image quality were explored. Results The use of the susceptibility-matched pillow led to a 43% reduction of B0 variation over the brachial plexus compared to the situation without a pillow (P < 0.05). The combination of the pillow with IB-shimming and the optimized diffusion-prepared sequence resulted in good nerve visibility, good fat suppression, no artifacts that would hinder clinical diagnosis, and a good overall quality (median scores ≥4). Reducing B0 variation was associated with SNR, CNR, and the above-mentioned scored features (P < 0.05). Conclusion The use of a susceptibility-matched pillow in combination with IB-shimming enables robust and high-quality neurography of the complete brachial plexus. J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2016;43:644-654.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)644-654
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


    • 3D turbo spin-echo
    • brachial plexus
    • magnetic susceptibility
    • MR neurography
    • peripheral nerves
    • shimming


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