Contrast-enhanced magnetization transfer MR of the brain: Importance of precontrast images

J. R. Meyer*, R. W. Androux, N. Salamon, B. Rabin, C. Callahan, T. B. Parrish, J. Prager, E. J. Russell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the importance of obtaining precontrast T1-weighed magnetization transfer (MT) MR images for better interpretation contrast- enhanced T1-weighed MT images. METHODS: One hundred fifty-five patients referred for MR imaging of the brain were examined prospectively with noncontrast T1-weighed imaging, noncontrast T1-weighed imaging with MT. In the patients who had abnormally increased signal intensity on postcontrast images (with or without MT), the four imaging sequences were evaluated with regard to number of lesions and lesional signal intensity. For each of the sequences, two experienced neuroradiologists subjectively graded the lesions on a scale of 1 to 4 (4 being the most conspicuous) with regard to abnormally increased signal intensity. RESULTS: Twenty-two of the 155 patients had increased signal intensity of one or more of the postcontrast sequences. Eight of these 22 patients had increased signal intensity of one or more lesions on images without MT. All these lesions were seen better on images obtained with MT that was not detected on images obtained without MT. Eight of the 22 patients had no high signal intensity on noncontrast images with or without MT. One of the eight had increased number and conspicuity of lesions on postcontrast MT images. CONCLUSION: A significant number of patients had increased signal intensity on noncontrast T1-weighted images with MT that was not seen on noncontrast T1-weighted images without MT. This high signal intensity was also visible on postcontrast MT images, and would have been mistaken for pathologic enhancement if noncontrast MT images had not been available for comparison.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1515-1521
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997


  • Brain, magnetic resonance
  • Magnetic resonance, magnetization transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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