Comparing an accelerated 3D fast spin-echo sequence (CS-SPACE) for knee 3-T magnetic resonance imaging with traditional 3D fast spin-echo (SPACE) and routine 2D sequences

Faysal F. Altahawi*, Kevin John Blount, Nicholas P. Morley, Esther Raithel, Imran M. Omar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare a faster, new, high-resolution accelerated 3D-fast-spin-echo (3D-FSE) acquisition sequence (CS-SPACE) to traditional 2D and high-resolution 3D sequences for knee 3-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Materials and methods: Twenty patients received knee MRIs that included routine 2D (T1, PD ± FS, T2-FS; 0.5 × 0.5 × 3 mm3; ∼10 min), traditional 3D FSE (SPACE-PD-FS; 0.5 × 0.5 × 0.5 mm3; ∼7.5 min), and accelerated 3D-FSE prototype (CS-SPACE-PD-FS; 0.5 × 0.5 × 0.5 mm3; ∼5 min) acquisitions on a 3-T MRI system (Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra). Three musculoskeletal radiologists (MSKRs) prospectively and independently reviewed the studies with graded surveys comparing image and diagnostic quality. Tissue-specific signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) were also compared. Results: MSKR-perceived diagnostic quality of cartilage was significantly higher for CS-SPACE than for SPACE and 2D sequences (p < 0.001). Assessment of diagnostic quality of menisci and synovial fluid was higher for CS-SPACE than for SPACE (p < 0.001). CS-SPACE was not significantly different from SPACE but had lower assessments than 2D sequences for evaluation of bones, ligaments, muscles, and fat (p ≤ 0.004). 3D sequences had higher spatial resolution, but lower overall assessed contrast (p < 0.001). Overall image quality from CS-SPACE was assessed as higher than SPACE (p = 0.007), but lower than 2D sequences (p < 0.001). Compared to SPACE, CS-SPACE had higher fluid SNR and CNR against all other tissues (all p < 0.001). Conclusions: The CS-SPACE prototype allows for faster isotropic acquisitions of knee MRIs over currently used protocols. High fluid-to-cartilage CNR and higher spatial resolution over routine 2D sequences may present a valuable role for CS-SPACE in the evaluation of cartilage and menisci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • 2D vs. 3D MRI
  • 3-T knee MRI
  • 3D MRI
  • Accelerated MRI
  • Compressed sensing
  • Incoherent k-space undersampling
  • Knee MRI
  • Multiplanar reconstruction
  • Nonlinear SENSE-type reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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