Synthetic MRI with Magnetic Resonance Spin TomogrAphy in Time-Domain (MR-STAT): Results from a Prospective Cross-Sectional Clinical Trial

Jordi P D Kleinloog, Stefano Mandija, Federico D'Agata, Hongyan Liu, Oscar van der Heide, Beyza Koktas, Jan Willem Dankbaar, Vera C Keil, Evert-Jan Vonken, Sarah M Jacobs, Cornelis A T van den Berg, Jeroen Hendrikse, Anja G van der Kolk, Alessandro Sbrizzi

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BACKGROUND: Magnetic Resonance Spin TomogrAphy in Time-domain (MR-STAT) can reconstruct whole-brain multi-parametric quantitative maps (eg, T 1 , T 2 ) from a 5-minute MR acquisition. These quantitative maps can be leveraged for synthetization of clinical image contrasts.

PURPOSE: The objective was to assess image quality and overall diagnostic accuracy of synthetic MR-STAT contrasts compared to conventional contrast-weighted images.

STUDY TYPE: Prospective cross-sectional clinical trial.

POPULATION: Fifty participants with a median age of 45 years (range: 21-79 years) consisting of 10 healthy participants and 40 patients with neurological diseases (brain tumor, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or stroke).

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: 3T/Conventional contrast-weighted imaging (T 1 /T 2 weighted, proton density [PD] weighted, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery [FLAIR]) and a MR-STAT acquisition (2D Cartesian spoiled gradient echo with varying flip angle preceded by a non-selective inversion pulse).

ASSESSMENT: Quantitative T 1 , T 2 , and PD maps were computed from the MR-STAT acquisition, from which synthetic contrasts were generated. Three neuroradiologists blinded for image type and disease randomly and independently evaluated synthetic and conventional datasets for image quality and diagnostic accuracy, which was assessed by comparison with the clinically confirmed diagnosis.

STATISTICAL TESTS: Image quality and consequent acceptability for diagnostic use was assessed with a McNemar's test (one-sided α = 0.025). Wilcoxon signed rank test with a one-sided α = 0.025 and a margin of Δ = 0.5 on the 5-level Likert scale was used to assess non-inferiority.

RESULTS: All data sets were similar in acceptability for diagnostic use (≥3 Likert-scale) between techniques (T 1 w:P = 0.105, PDw:P = 1.000, FLAIR:P = 0.564). However, only the synthetic MR-STAT T 2 weighted images were significantly non-inferior to their conventional counterpart; all other synthetic datasets were inferior (T 1 w:P = 0.260, PDw:P = 1.000, FLAIR:P = 1.000). Moreover, true positive/negative rates were similar between techniques (conventional: 88%, MR-STAT: 84%).

DATA CONCLUSION: MR-STAT is a quantitative technique that may provide radiologists with clinically useful synthetic contrast images within substantially reduced scan time.

EVIDENCE LEVEL: 1 Technical Efficacy: Stage 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1461
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • diagnostic accuracy
  • diagnostic quality
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • quantitative MRI
  • synthetic MRI

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