Objective: To assess whether multi-echo Dixon magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with simultaneous T2* estimation and correction yields more accurate fat-signal fraction (FF) measurement of the lumbar paravertebral muscles, in comparison with non-T2*-corrected two-echo Dixon or T2*-corrected three-echo Dixon, using the FF measurements from single-voxel MR spectroscopy as the reference standard. Materials and Methods: Sixty patients with low back pain underwent MR imaging with a 1.5T scanner. FF mapping images automatically obtained using T2*-corrected Dixon technique with two (non-T2*-corrected), three, and six echoes, were compared with images from single-voxel MR spectroscopy at the paravertebral muscles on levels L4 through L5. FFs were measured directly by two radiologists, who independently drew the region of interest on the mapping images from the three sequences. Results: A total of 117 spectroscopic measurements were performed either bilaterally (57 of 60 subjects) or unilaterally (3 of 60 subjects). The mean spectroscopic FF was 14.3 ± 11.7% (range, 1.9–63.7%). Interobserver agreement was excellent between the two radiologists. Lin’s concordance correlation between the spectroscopic findings and all the imaging-based FFs were statistically significant (p < 0.001). FFs obtained from the T2*-corrected six-echo Dixon sequences showed a significantly better concordance with the spectroscopic data, with its concordance correlation coefficient being 0.99 and 0.98 (p < 0.001), as compared with two- or three-echo methods. Conclusion: T2*-corrected six-echo Dixon sequence would be a better option than two- or three-echo methods for noninvasive quantification of lumbar muscle fat quantification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging