Korean J Radiol.  2007 Jun;8(3):185-191. 10.3348/kjr.2007.8.3.185.

Diffusion-Weighted Imaging with Sensitivity Encoding (SENSE) for Detecting Cranial Bone Marrow Metastases: Comparison with T1-Weighted Images

  • 1Department of Radiology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ec.chung@samsung.com
  • 2Department of Radiology, Konkuk University Hospital, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul , Korea.


This study was designed to determine whether diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) with sensitivity encoding (SENSE) could detect bone marrow involvement in patients with cranial bone marrow (CBM) metastases. DWI results obtained were compared with T1-weighted imaging (T1WI) findings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: DWI with sensitivity encoding (SENSE; b value = 1,000) was performed consecutively in 13 patients with CBM metastases diagnosed pathologically and radiologically. CBM lesions were dichotomized according to the involved site, i.e., skull base or calvarium. Two radiologists qualitatively evaluated the relative conspicuousness of CBM lesions and image qualities in B0 and in isotropic DWI and in T1WI. According to region of interest analysis of normal and pathologic marrow for these three sequences, absolute signal difference percentages (SD%) were calculated to quantitatively analyze lesion contrast. RESULTS: All 20 lesions in 13 patients with CBM metastases revealed abnormal DWI signals in areas corresponding to T1WI abnormalities. Both skull base and calvarial lesions provided better lesion conspicuousness than T1WI and B0 images. Although the image quality of DWI was less satisfactory than that of T1WI, relatively good image qualities were obtained. Quantitatively, B0 images (SD%, 82.1+/-7.9%) showed better lesion contrast than isotropic DWI (SD%, 71.4+/-13.7%) and T1WI (SD%, 65.7+/-9.3%) images. CONCLUSION: For scan times of less than 30 seconds, DWI with SENSE was able to detect bone marrow involvement, and was superior to T1WI in terms of lesion conspicuity. DWI with SENSE may be helpful for the detection of cranial bone/bone marrow metastases when used in conjunction with conventional MR sequences.


Brain, MR; Bone marrow, MR; Magnetic resonance (MR), comparative studies; Magnetic resonance (MR), diffusion-weighted imaging

MeSH Terms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms/*pathology/*secondary
Contrast Media
*Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Gadolinium DTPA/diagnostic use
Magnetic Resonance Imaging/*methods
Middle Aged


  • Fig. 1 A 71-year-old woman with lung cancer (case no. 4). T1-weighted image (A), B0 image (B), isotropic diffusion-weighted image (C), and an apparent diffusion coefficient map (D) were obtained. Abnormalities in signal intensity due to bone marrow metastases (arrow) are evident on all images. However, the relative lesion conspicuousness is better on the B0 image and the isotropic diffusion-weighted image than on the T1-weighted image.

  • Fig. 2 A 69-year-old man with lung cancer (case no. 3). T1-weighted image (A), B0 image (B), isotropic diffusion-weighted image (C), and an apparent diffusion-coefficient map (D) were obtained. Lesions involving the skull base and mandibular condyles (arrows) are visible on all images. However, the isotropic diffusion-weighted image shows a superior lesion contrast.


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