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INTRODUCTION: Ultra Short TE MRI allows signal to be detected from tissues with a very short T2.The aims of this study were to optimize a 2D UTE MRI sequence for imaging and quantification of sclerotic bone metastases, establish T2* values of sclerotic components and investigate the feasibility of using the method to assess changes in T2* of sclerotic metastases and their relation to attenuation values in patients on treatment. METHODS: Twenty-two subjects were recruited in 3 cohorts. Cohort 1 was used to optimize the 2-D UTE sequence, cohort 2 was used to establish T2* measurements using a range of TEs and cohort 3 was used to assess T2* changes with treatment response and relate them to changes on electron density as measured by CT Hounsfield Units. RESULTS: Sagittal 2D UTE MRI of the lumbar spine is feasible demonstrating short T2 components in normal volunteers. In patients with bone metastases secondary to prostate carcinoma T2* can be measured and mean T2* of sclerotic metastases measured with TEs of 0.07, 0.27, 0.47 and 0.67 ms was 8.5 ms.T2* shortened by 20.0% in responders and increased by 24.4% in progressors. DISCUSSION: The significant linear relationship between percentage change in T2* as derived from UTE MRI and percentage change in HU from corresponding CT studies is indirect evidence that they are measuring effects of the same process.If the relationship between T2* and electron density holds true in further studies it offers potential for MR guided radiotherapy planning as well as attenuation correction for PET/MRI.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Biomark

Publication Date





211 - 218


Adult, Aged, Bone Neoplasms, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Lumbar Vertebrae, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Middle Aged, Sclerosis