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Short tau inversion recovery (STIR) after intravenous contrast agent administration obscures bone marrow edema-like signal on forefoot MRI

Journal Paper/Review - Jul 13, 2021

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Citation
Fischer T, El Baz Y, Wälti S, Wildermuth S, Leschka S, Güsewell S, Dietrich T. Short tau inversion recovery (STIR) after intravenous contrast agent administration obscures bone marrow edema-like signal on forefoot MRI. Skeletal Radiol 2021
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Journal Paper/Review (English)
Journal
Skeletal Radiol 2021
Publication Date
Jul 13, 2021
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Issn Electronic
1432-2161
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OBJECTIVE
Short tau or short TI inversion recovery (STIR) MRI sequences are considered a robust fat suppression technique. However, STIR also suppresses signals from other tissues with similar T1 relaxation times. This study investigates the in vivo effect of intravenous gadolinium-based T1-shortening contrast agent on STIR signal.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Institutional board approval and informed consent was obtained. MRI examinations (1.5-T or 3-T) of 31 prospectively included patients were analyzed by two readers. Signal intensity of degenerative bone marrow edema-like signal at the Lisfranc joint on precontrast STIR images and on STIR images acquired after intravenous contrast agent administration (gadoteric acid, gadolinium: 0.5 mmol/ml, 15 ml) was measured. The medial cuneiform bone without observable bone marrow edema-like signal was considered a healthy tissue and served as a reference. Relative changes in signal intensity between precontrast and postcontrast images were calculated for the two tissues. Wilcoxon signed-rank test served for statistical analyses.

RESULTS
In bone marrow edema-like signal, both readers observed a median signal change of -35% (interquartile range (IQR) 24) and -34% (IQR 21), respectively, on postcontrast STIR images compared to precontrast STIR. In healthy tissue, the signal remained constant on postcontrast STIR images (median change -2%, IQR 15, and 0%, IQR 17) respectively. For both readers, postcontrast signal change in bone marrow edema-like signal differed from that in healthy tissue (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION
Intravenous gadolinium-based contrast agent causes a significant reduction of signal intensity in bone marrow edema-like signal on routine STIR images. Thus, pathological MRI findings may be obscured.