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Am J Hematol. 1997 Jul;55(3):134-8.

Analysis of intramedullary cell density by MRI using the multiple spin-echo technique.

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Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.


Analysis of the intramedullary cell distribution by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using conventional techniques involves subjectively interpreting images and estimating the cell distribution on the basis of signal intensity characteristics. In recent years, attempts have been made to achieve more precise analysis by new techniques, including chemical shift imaging. The multiple spin-echo (MSE) technique offers some advantages over conventional MRI. Since it allows measurement of the transverse magnetization decay curve at 32 or more points, it is capable of separating several tissue components with different relaxation times. In addition, this technique can be used with MRI instruments having a static magnetic field as low as 1.0 Tesla. In the present study, the intramedullary cell density was assessed by MRI using the MSE technique in 4 patients with aplastic anemia (AA), 4 patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and 5 normal subjects. The water component of the marrow (with a short relaxation time) and the fat component (with a long relaxation time) were separated from each other by analyzing MR images obtained using the MSE technique, and the signal intensity ratio of the 2 components was calculated. The ratio was significantly higher in the AA group than in the other groups (AA vs. MDS, P = 0.0209, AA vs. normal controls, P = 0.0143). The present technique appears promising for quantitative assessment of the intramedullary cell density.

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