Optimizing MR signal contrast of the temporomandibular joint disk

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To use a tissue specific algorithm to numerically optimize UTE sequence parameters to maximize contrast within temporomandibular joint (TMJ) donor tissue.

Materials and Methods:

A TMJ specimen tissue block was sectioned in a true sagittal plane and imaged at 3 Tesla (T) using UTE pulse sequences with dual echo subtraction. The MR tissue properties (PD, T2, T2*, and T1) were measured and subsequently used to calculate the optimum sequences parameters (repetition time [TR], echo time [TE], and Θ).


It was found that the main contrast available in the TMJ could be obtained from T2 (or T2*) contrast. With the first echo time fixed at 8 μs and using TR = 200 ms, the optimum parameters were found to be: Θ ≈ 60°, and TE2 ≈ 15 ms, when the second echo is acquired using a gradient echo and Θ ≈ 120°, and TE2 ≈ 15 ms, when the second echo is acquired using a spin echo.


Our results show that MR signal contrast can be optimized between tissues in a systematic manner. The MR contrast within the TMJ was successfully optimized with facile delineation between disc and soft tissues. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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