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Magn Reson Med. 2012 Sep;68(3):947-53. doi: 10.1002/mrm.23301. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Toward understanding transverse relaxation in human brain through its field dependence.

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National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Apparent transverse-relaxation rate constants (R₂⁺ = 1/T₂⁺) were measured in various regions of the healthy human brain using a multiecho adiabatic spin-echo sequence at five different magnetic fields, 1.5, 1.9, 3, 4.7, and 7 T. The R₂⁺ values showed a clear dependence on magnetic field strength (B(0) ). The regional distribution of the R ₂⁺ was well explained by the sum of three components: (1) regional nonhemin iron concentration ([Fe]), (2) regional macromolecular mass fraction (f(M) ), and (3) a region-independent factor. Accordingly, R₂⁺ = α[Fe] + βf(M) + γ, where coefficients α, β, and γ were experimentally determined at each magnetic field by a least square fitting method using multiple regression analysis. Although the coefficient α linearly increased with B(0) , β showed a quadratic dependence on top of a field-independent component. The coefficient γ also increased slightly with B(0) on top of a field-independent component. The linear dependence of α on B(0) was consistent with that observed for the transverse-relaxation rate of water protons in ferritin solutions as found previously by others. The quadratic dependence of β on B(0) was accounted for by isochronous and anisochronous exchange mechanisms using intrinsic-relaxation parameters obtained from the literature.

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