Reproducibility of relaxation and spin-density parameters in phantoms and the human brain measured by MR imaging at 1.5 T.
The reproducibility of T1, T2, and proton density, measured in phantoms and the human brain was evaluated by proton imaging techniques. The sequence used to derive T1 and density values was a multiple-saturation recovery which consists of four pairs of 90 degrees pulses, followed by a 180 degrees phase reversal pulse, generating four T1-weighted images. T2 was derived from a multiple-echo sequence, generating four T2-weighted images. The data were analyzed by fitting the pixel intensities to the respective equations by means of nonlinear multiparameter least-squares analysis. Short-term reproducibility between four consecutive scans was evaluated to be 1-4% depending on location with a phantom covering the entire span of physiologic T1 and T2 values. A second phantom containing a series of identical samples served to study the dependence of the apparent T1 and T2 on position, both radially and axially, with respect to magnet isocenter. Reproducibility across the field of view was found to be better than 7% (T1 and T2). This phantom was further used to evaluate effects of long-term reproducibility, which at each location varied from 5-14% (T1) and 2-10% (T2). Finally, interinstrument reproducibility, tested by means of the same protocol on three different instruments, all operating at the same magnetic field and using largely identical hardware for each location, was found to be 1-14% (T1) and 2-10% (T2). The positional dependence of the apparent relaxation times appears to be systematic and may be due to variations in the effective field, caused by magnet and rf inhomogeneity. Finally, brain tissue relaxation and spin-density data were determined using the same protocol in 37 scans performed on 27 normal volunteers. The tissues analyzed were putamen, thalamus, caudate nucleus, centrum semiovale, internal capsule, and corpus callosum. Excellent accordance was further obtained between left and right hemispheres.
Breger, RK; Wehrli, FW; Charles, HC; MacFall, JR; Haughton, VM
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