Magnetic resonance imaging and T2 relaxometry of human median nerve at 7 Tesla

Measurements of T2 relaxation times in tissues have provided a unique, noninvasive method to investigate the microenvironment of water molecules in vivo. As more clinical imaging is performed at higher field strengths, tissue relaxation times need to be reassessed in order to optimize tissue contrast. The purpose of this study was to investigate the water proton T2 relaxation time in human median nerve at 7 T. High-resolution images of the wrist were obtained using a home-built dedicated microstrip coil. Gradient echo images provided a good anatomical delineation of the wrist structure, with a clear definition of the median nerve, tendons, bone, and connective tissue within the wrist in an acquisition time of 2 min. Measurements of the T2 relaxation time were performed with a spin echo imaging sequence. The T2 relaxation time of the median nerve was 18.3 ± 1.9 ms, which is significantly shorter than the T2 measured in previous studies performed at 1.5 T and 3 T. Further, the T2 relaxation time of the median nerve is shorter than the T2 relaxation time of other tissues, such as brain tissue, at the same field strength. Since the T2 relaxation time of water protons is sensitive to the water microenvironment, relaxation measurements and, in general, a more quantitative magnetic resonance imaging approach might help in detecting and investigating diseases of peripheral nervous system, such as compressive and inflammatory neuropathies, in humans. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Muscle and Nerve, 36, 3, 368-373

 Record created 2012-05-26, last modified 2018-03-17

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