Preliminary Experience Using Dynamic MRI at 3.0 Tesla for Evaluation of Soft Tissue Tumors

Authors: Michael Yong Park, MD,1 Won-Hee Jee, MD,1 Sun Ki Kim, MD,2 So-Yeon Lee, MD,3 and Joon-Yong Jung, MD1


Objective
We aimed to evaluate the use of dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) at 3.0 T for differentiating the benign from malignant soft tissue tumors. Also we aimed to assess whether the shorter length of DCE-MRI protocols are adequate, and to evaluate the effect of temporal resolution.


Materials and Methods

Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, at 3.0 T with a 1 second temporal resolution in 13 patients with pathologically confirmed soft tissue tumors, was analyzed. Visual assessment of time-signal curves, subtraction images, maximal relative enhancement at the first (maximal peak enhancement [Emax]/1) and second (Emax/2) minutes, Emax, steepest slope calculated by using various time intervals (5, 30, 60 seconds), and the start of dynamic enhancement were analyzed.


Results

The 13 tumors were comprised of seven benign and six malignant soft tissue neoplasms. Washout on time-signal curves was seen on three (50%) malignant tumors and one (14%) benign one. The most discriminating DCE-MRI parameter was the steepest slope calculated, by using at 5-second intervals, followed by Emax/1 and Emax/2. All of the steepest slope values occurred within 2 minutes of the dynamic study. Start of dynamic enhancement did not show a significant difference, but no malignant tumor rendered a value greater than 14 seconds.


Conclusion

The steepest slope and early relative enhancement have the potential for differentiating benign from malignant soft tissue tumors. Short-length rather than long-length DCE-MRI protocol may be adequate for our purpose. The steepest slope parameters require a short temporal resolution, while maximal peak enhancement parameter may be more optimal for a longer temporal resolution.