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Magn Reson Med. 2017 Sep;78(3):997-1008. doi: 10.1002/mrm.26489. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Quantitative ultrashort TE imaging of the short-T2 components in skeletal muscle using an extended echo-subtraction method.

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NMR Laboratory, Institute of Myology, Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, Paris, France.
CEA/DRF/I2BM/MIRCen, Fontenay aux Roses, France.
CEA/DRF/I2BM/NeuroSpin/UNIRS, Gif Sur Yvette, France.
IR4M UMR8081, CNRS, University of Paris-Sud, University of Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France.



To introduce an ultrashort echo time (UTE) based method for quantitative mapping of short-T2 signals in skeletal muscle (SKM) in the presence of fat, with the aim of monitoring SKM fibrosis.


From a set of at least five UTE images of the same slice, a long- T2* map, a fat-fraction map, and a map of short-T2 -signal fraction are extracted. The method was validated by numerical simulations and in vitro studies on collagen solutions. Finaly, the method was applied to image the short-T2 signals in the leg of eight healthy volunteers.


The imaged short-T2 -signal fractions in the collagen solutions correlated with their respective collagen concentrations ( R=0.999,  P=0.009). Short-T2 tissues such as cortical bone and fasciae were highlighted in the resulting short-T2 fraction maps. A significant fraction of short-T2 signal was systematically observed in the skeletal muscle of all of the subjects (4.5±1.2%).


The proposed method allows the quantitative imaging of short-T2 components in tissues containing fat. By also having the fat-fraction and T2* maps as outcomes, long-T2 suppression is accomplished without requiring modifications to the basic UTE sequence. Although the hypersignal observed in the fasciae suggests that the short-T2 signal observed in SKM might arise from interstitial connective tissue, further investigation is necessary to confirm this statement. Magn Reson Med 78:997-1008, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.


long-T2 suppression; quantitative imaging; short-T2 imaging; skeletal muscle fibrosis; ultrashort TE

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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