MR signal intensity of gray matter/white matter contrast and intracranial fat: effects of age and sex.
Signal intensity (SI) values of gray- and white-matter brain regions of interest (ROIs) were obtained from T(2)- and proton density-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images of 58 normal subjects aged 22-82 years (31 females, 52.3+/-18.8 years; 27 males, 54.1+/-18.1 years). Sampled ROIs included the caudate, putamen, thalamus, orbitofrontal gyrus, gyrus rectus, uncus, frontal white matter, anterior and posterior corpus callosum, cranial-cervical junction fat, and retroorbital fat. Effects of age and sex on SI were examined using repeated-measures analysis of covariance. For both T(2)- and proton density-weighted acquisitions, a significant inverse relationship between age and SI was observed for the ratio of all summed gray-matter ROIs divided by summed white-matter ROIs. This relationship was additionally observed for ratios of both subcortical gray/white matter and cortical gray/white matter. Females compared with males had significantly lower cortical gray/white matter ratios on T(2)-weighted scans. Differences in SI were observed between cranial-cervical junction fat and retroorbital fat on both acquisitions, with females showing significantly higher values for cranial-cervical junction fat and males showing higher values for retroorbital fat. Implications for brain morphometry, the use of fat as a reference standard, and other issues in neuroimaging are discussed.
Kim, DM; Xanthakos, SA; Tupler, LA; Barboriak, DP; Charles, HC; MacFall, JR; Krishnan, KRR
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