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Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Jan;24(1):33-43. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

Measurement of in vivo multi-component T2 relaxation times for brain tissue using multi-slice T2 prep at 1.5 and 3 T.

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Department of Radiology, Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.


The objective of this study was to implement a clinically relevant multi-slice multi-echo imaging sequence in order to quantify multi-component T2 relaxation times for normal volunteers at both 1.5 and 3 T. Multi-echo data were fitted using a nonnegative least square algorithm. Twelve echo data with nonlinear echo sampling were acquired using a receive-only eight-channel phased array coil and volume head coil for phantoms and normal volunteers, and compared to 32-echo data with linear echo sampling. It was observed that the performance of the 180 degrees refocusing trains was more spatially uniform for the receive-only eight-channel phased array coil than for the head coil, particularly at 3 T. The phantom study showed that the estimated T2 relaxation times were accurate and reproducible for both single- and multi-slice acquisition from a commercial phantom with known T2 relaxation times. Short T2 components (T2 <50 ms) were mainly observed within the white matter for normal volunteers, and the fraction of short T2 water components (i.e., myelin water) was 7-12% of total water. It was observed that the calculated myelin water fraction map from the nonlinearly sampled 12-echo data was comparable with that from the linearly sampled 32-echo data. Quantification of T2 relaxation times from multi-slice images was accomplished with a clinically acceptable scan times (16 min) for normal volunteers by using a nonselective T2 prep imaging sequence. The use of the eight-channel head coil involved more accurate quantification of T2 relaxation times particularly when the number of echoes was limited.

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