Intramuscular lipoma is a benign tumor that grows within the muscles. This type of tumor develops slowly, usually without causing any symptoms. However, when growing larger it can cause discomfort and pain by compressing nerves or blood vessels in the area. It is also crucial to distinguish them from malignant tumors such as liposarcoma that also contain fat elements.
Figure 1: A Siemens Verio 3T lower extremity MRI scan showing intramuscular lipoma. Both sequences; STIR SAG and AX T2 FSE show clearly the pathology. On the left a routine scan, on the right a short low resolution scan processed by iQMR. The pathology is much clearer on the processed image.
Detecting intramuscular lipomas can be challenging as they are made up of fat cells that look similar to normal fat tissue. Therefore, MRI is an effective diagnostic tool in these cases because it can provide highly detailed images of soft tissues, including fat cells, muscles, and connective tissue.
By using a fat suppression technique, the signal from the fat cells within the lipoma can be suppressed, allowing the radiologist to better visualize and differentiate the lipoma from surrounding tissues. This can help to increase the accuracy of the diagnosis.
However, lying in the MRI bore can be a significant challenge for the patients, hence it is important to shorten the scan to reduce discomfort, particularly for those who may have difficulty remaining still for extended periods or experience claustrophobia.
iQMR® is an AI-assisted technology that enables shorter MRI scans while maintaining or even enhancing image quality. This FDA-approved add-on software solution can be implemented on any scanner and for all sequences including different fat suppression techniques.