Apparent transverse relaxation rate in human brain varies linearly with tissue iron concentration at 4.7 T

Fumiyuki Mitsumori, Hidehiro Watanabe, Nobuhiro Takaya, Michael Garwood

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Multiple pairs of adiabatic passage pulses were implemented in a spin-echo sequence to achieve accurate measurements of the apparent transverse relaxation time (T2) in a short scan time. In experiments on agarose gel phantoms with T2 values ranging from 30 to 105 ms, the measured T2 values were in good agreement with transverse relaxation times measured with a nonselective Carr-Purcell-Meiboom- Gill sequence. In experiments on normal human brain at 4.7 T, T2 values in five different gray matter regions were found to range from 38 ± 2 ms (globus pallidus) to 64 ± 2 ms (frontal cortex). The apparent relaxation rate (1/T2) in these five regions showed strong correlation (r = 0.97) with published levels of iron (Fe) in those regions. The linear coefficient relating 1/T 2 and [Fe] at 4.7 T was measured to be 0.551 (s·mg Fe/100 g f.w.)-1. When compared with the values obtained in a previous report for six different static fields (B0) up to 1.5 T, the current measurement confirms the linear dependence of the linear coefficient on B0 up to 4.7 T (r = 0.99). These results suggest that the T2 value in the human brain is predominantly affected by the nonhemin iron distribution. The strong correlation between the obtained T2 values and the regional iron concentrations suggests a role for this pulse sequence in quantifying in vivo brain iron at high magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1054-1060
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Adiabatic pulse
  • Human brain
  • Iron
  • Transverse relaxation rate


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