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Regional cerebral relaxation times measured by magnetic resonance imaging at 3.0 Tesla

AN Mumuni
J McLean
B Condon


Brain tissue T1 and T2 relaxation times were measured at 3.0 T from a total of 8 (M/F = 5/3) healthy volunteers, selecting 9 regions of interest (ROIs) in the prefrontal, frontal, parietal, occipitoparietal and hippocampal regions. Apart from the prefrontal region, the other four ROIs were selected within the left and right brain hemispheres. The selected ROIs contained either grey matter (GM) or white matter (WM) or both. The T1 measurements were done using the saturation recovery imaging method at 8 different repetition times (TRs) whereas the T2 measurements were carried out using the multiple spin-echo imaging method at 12 different echo times (TEs). The average T1 values (mean ± SE, ms) from 4 (M/F = 2/2) volunteers were: 1942 ± 29 (prefrontal GM), 1203 ± 40 (frontal WM), 1217 ± 21 (parietal WM), 1425 ± 29 (occipitoparietal GM/WM), and 1435 ± 62 (hippocampi). The average T2 estimates (mean ± SE, ms) from another group of 4 (M/F = 3/1) volunteers were: 147 ± 9 (prefrontal GM), 121 ± 3 (frontal WM), 131 ± 4 (parietal WM), 127 ± 1 (occipitoparietal GM/WM), and 142 ± 8 (hippocampi). Neither T1 nor T2 relaxation times differed significantly between the two brain hemispheres by paired t-tests (p > 0.05). However, regional T1 was found to vary significantly (p < 0.01) while regional T2 did not vary significantly (p = 0.07) by one-way ANOVA. These findings are consistent with theory and published data for the ROIs studied. The results could thus serve as a reference data set for brain MRI pulse sequence optimisation at 3.0 T and could as well be useful in multicentre data set comparisons aimed at developing a database of in vivo brain relaxation times.

Keywords: MRI, brain, saturation recovery, spin echo, relaxation time