STIR Imaging of Intracranial Disease

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STIR Imaging of Intracranial Disease

Post by frodo » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:34 am

Postcontrast STIR imaging offers additional information, not obtained with other sequences:

Postcontrast STIR Imaging of Intracranial Disease Processes – a Pilot Study


To asses postcontrast Short Tau Inversion Recovery (STIR) MR images for potential new information in various intracranial disease processes.


STIR suppresses signal from tissues with short T1 values. Thus accumulation of gadolinium-based contrast agent leads to a relative signal loss compared to precontrast STIR images. To the best of our knowledge, intracranial postcontrast STIR imaging has not yet been evaluated.


Sixty-three patients underwent brain MRI on a 1.5 Tesla scanner: 19 with multiple sclerosis (MS), 16 with metastases, 14 with meningiomas, 12 with gliomas and 2 with abscesses. Axial T1-weighted and STIR images were obtained before and after intravenous administration of contrast agent. The enhancing lesions were analyzed for the presence and characteristics of relative signal change on postcontrast STIR images.


Enhancing MS lesions revealed a surprising range of appearances on postcontrast STIR images, from a definite signal loss to a slight increase in signal intensity, which were in some cases present within the same lesion. Only some of the homogenously enhancing metastases demonstrated signal loss. Among the homogenously enhancing meningiomas two different patterns of signal loss were observed.


Our pilot study demonstrates that postcontrast STIR imaging offers additional information, not obtained with other sequences, suggesting various lesion characteristics, primarily in patients with MS, metastases and meningiomas.

Further investigation is necessary to evaluate for the underlying cause and possible clinical utility of this novel information.

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