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Magn Reson Med. 2003 Apr;49(4):638-45.

Is multicomponent T2 a good measure of myelin content in peripheral nerve?

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Imaging Research, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre, S654, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada.


Multicomponent T(2) relaxation of normal and injured rat sciatic nerve was measured. The T(2) relaxation was multiexponential, indicating the multicompartmental nature of T(2) decay in nerve tissue. The size of the short, observed T(2) component correlated very well with quantitative assessment of myelin using computer-assisted histopathological image analysis of myelin. Specifically, the size of the short T(2) component reflected the processes of myelin loss and remyelination accompanying Wallerian degeneration and regeneration following trauma. However, it represented all myelin present in the sample and did not distinguish between intact myelin and myelin debris. Other changes in T(2) spectra were also observed and could be correlated with axonal loss and inflammation. The study also questions the validity of previously offered interpretations of T(2) spectra of nerve.

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