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Magn Reson Med. 2016 Jan;75(1):161-8. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25590. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

MRI relaxation in the presence of fictitious fields correlates with myelin content in normal rat brain.

Author information

1
A. I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
2
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
3
Imaging Center, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Brain myelin plays an important role in normal brain function. Demyelination is involved in many degenerative brain diseases, thus quantitative imaging of myelin has been under active investigation. In previous work, we demonstrated the capability of the method known as Relaxation Along a Fictitious Field (RAFF) in the rotating frame of rank n (RAFFn) to provide image contrast between white and gray matter in human and rat brains. Here, we provide evidence pointing to myelin being the major source of this contrast.

METHODS:

RAFFn relaxation time constant (TRAFFn) was mapped in rat brain ex vivo. TRAFFn was quantified in 12 different brain areas. TRAFFn values were compared with multiple other MRI metrics (T1, T2 , continuous wave T1ρ, adiabatic T1ρ and T2ρ, magnetization transfer ratio), and with histologic measurements of cell density, myelin and iron content.

RESULTS:

Highest contrast between white and grey matter was obtained with TRAFFn in the rotating frames of ranks n = 4 and 5. TRAFFn values correlated strongly with myelin content, whereas no associations between TRAFFn and iron content or cell density were found.

CONCLUSION:

TRAFFn with n = 4 or 5 provides a high sensitivity for selective myelin mapping in the rat brain.

KEYWORDS:

brain; contrast imaging; fictitious field; myelin; relaxation; rotating frame

PMID:
25648507
PMCID:
PMC4523459
DOI:
10.1002/mrm.25590
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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