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Quantitative magnetization transfer mapping of bound protons in multiple sclerosis

By D. Tozer, A. Ramani, G. J. Barker, G. R. Davies, D. H. Miller and P. S. Tofts


Quantitative analysis of magnetization transfer images has the potential to allow a more thorough characterization of the protons, both bound and free, in a tissue by extracting a number of parameters relating to the NMR properties of the protons and their local environment. This work develops previously presented techniques to produce estimates of parameters such as the bound proton fraction, f, and the transverse relaxation time of the bound pool, T(2B), for the whole brain in a clinically acceptable imaging time. This is achieved by limiting the number of data collected (typically to 10); to collect 28 5-mm slices with a reconstructed resolution of 0.94 x 0.94 mm. The protocol takes 82 sec per data point. The fitting technique is assessed against previous work and for fitting failures. Maps and analysis are presented from a group of seven controls and 20 multiple sclerosis patients. The maps show that the parameters are sensitive to tissue-specific differences and can detect pathological change within lesions. Statistically significant differences in parameters such as T(2B) and f are seen between normal-appearing white matter, multiple sclerosis lesions, and control white matter. Whole-brain histograms of these parameters are also presented, showing differences between patients and controls

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2003
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