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Neuroimage. 2012 Feb 1;59(3):1979-87. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.09.057. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

In vivo assessment of myelination by phase imaging at high magnetic field.

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Pediatrics, Pediatric and Neonatal ICU, Department of Radiology, University of Geneva, Geneva 14, Switzerland.


The present study evaluated the potential of using the phase of T2* weighted MR images to characterize myelination during brain development and pathology in rodents at 9.4 T. Phase contrast correlated with myelin content assessed by histology and suggests that most contrast between white and cortical gray matter is modulated by myelin. Ex vivo experiments showed that gray-white matter phase contrast remains unchanged after iron extraction. In dysmyelinated shiverer mice, phase imaging correlated strongly with myelin staining, showing reduced contrast between white and gray matter when compared to healthy controls. We conclude that high-resolution phase images, acquired at high field, allow assessment of myelination and dysmyelination.

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