Changes in myometrial and junctional zone thickness and signal intensity: demonstration with kinematic T2-weighted MR imaging.

Research paper by T T Masui, M M Katayama, S S Kobayashi, S S Nakayama, A A Nozaki, H H Kabasawa, T T Ito, H H Sakahara

Indexed on: 25 Sep '01Published on: 25 Sep '01Published in: Radiology


To demonstrate uterine contractions by evaluating changes during time in the thickness of the myometrium and junctional zone and in signal intensity of the uterus with T2-weighted fast magnetic resonance (MR) images in a kinematic fashion.Sagittal MR imaging was performed with T2-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) and multiphase-multisection single-shot FSE (SSFSE) in 60 premenopausal patients during free breathing. SSFSE MR images were evaluated with cine display. The pattern of uterine contractions and changes in signal intensities of the uterine structures were evaluated. Thickness of both myometrium and junctional zone, and their signal intensities, were measured during 15 phases of SSFSE and FSE MR imaging.Slow-massive (mean, 55%), middle-cycle (mean, 80%), and fine (mean, 93%) contractions were observed. Shape of junctional zones dynamically changed during time, showing focal (mean, 58%) and diffuse (mean, 82%) thickening and wavelike motions (mean, 88%). Ratio of thickness of the myometrium to junctional zone with FSE MR imaging was not significantly different from the mean ratio during 15 phases of SSFSE MR imaging, although maximum percentage of change of the ratio during 15 phases was 42.5%-56.8%. The signal intensities of the myometrium (97%) and junctional zone (75%) changed during time.Kinematic T2-weighted SSFSE MR images demonstrate uterine contractions related to dynamic changes in thickness and signal intensities of the myometrium and junctional zone, and these findings might affect the diagnosis of uterine disease.