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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2005 Feb;21(2):103-10.

The role of edema and demyelination in chronic T1 black holes: a quantitative magnetization transfer study.

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McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montréal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montréal, H3A 2B4 Québec, Canada.



To use quantitative magnetization transfer imaging (qMTI) in an investigation of T1-weighted hypointensity observed in clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, which has previously been proposed as a more specific indicator of tissue damage than the more commonly detected T2 hyperintensity.


A cross-sectional study of 10 MS patients was performed using qMTI. A total of 60 MTI measurements were collected in each patient at a resolution of 2 x 2 x 7 mm, over a range of saturation pulses. The observed T1 and T2 were also measured. qMT model parameters were estimated using a voxel-by-voxel fit.


A total of 65 T2-hyperintense lesions were identified; 53 were also T1 hypointense. In these black holes, the qMTI-derived semisolid pool fraction F correlated negatively with T(1,obs) (r2 = 0.76; P < 0.0001). The water pool absolute size (PDf) showed a weaker correlation with T(1,obs) (positive, r2 = 0.53; P < 0.0001). The magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) showed a similarly strong correlation with F and a weaker correlation with PDf (r2 = 0.18; P < 0.04).


T1 increases in chronic black holes strongly correlated with the decline in semisolid pool size, and somewhat less to the confounding effect of edema. MTR was less sensitive than T(1,obs) to liquid pool changes associated with edema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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