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Comparison of T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery fast spin-echo MR sequences in intracerebral AIDS-associated disease [see comments]
Thurnher MM; Thurnher SA; Fleischmann D; Steuer A; Rieger A; Helbich T;
March 30, 1998
AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1997 Oct;18(9):1601-9. Unique Identifier :

PURPOSE: To compare the value of fast fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) with T2-weighted fast spin-echo MR imaging in the detection of acquired immunodeficiency virus AIDS)-related lesions of the brain. METHODS: Forty-four human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients were examined with both sequences on either a 1.0-T or a 1.5-T MR system. The number, size, location, and conspicuity of the lesions were evaluated by two independent observers. Contrast ratios between lesions and normal brain/cerebrospinal fluid were determined, and contrast-to-noise ratios were calculated. RESULTS: FLAIR was found to be superior to T2-weighted fast spin-echo in detection of small lesions and of lesions located in cortical/subcortical regions and deep white matter. The two techniques were equal in delineation of lesions larger than 2 cm and for lesions located in the basal ganglia and posterior fossa. In 24 patients, more lesions were detected with the FLAIR fast spin-echo technique. Lesion/cerebrospinal fluid contrast ratios and contrast-to-noise ratios were significantly higher for the FLAIR fast spin-echo sequences than for the T2-weighted fast spin-echo sequences. CONCLUSION: FLAIR allows early detection of small lesions in subcortical and cortical locations, especially in HIV encephalitis. Because of its improved lesion detection rate and greater overall lesion conspicuity, we believe FLAIR is useful in the evaluation of subtle changes in the brains of AIDS patients with central nervous system disease, and could even replace the T2-weighted fast spin-echo technique.

*AIDS Dementia Complex/DIAGNOSIS *HIV Seropositivity/DIAGNOSIS *Image Enhancement/METHODS *Magnetic Resonance Imaging/METHODS