To study the anisotropic characteristics of both multi-component T2 and T1ρ relaxation times in tendon.Materials and Methods:
T2 and T1ρ were measured in tendon by NMR spectroscopy at different orientations and by microscopic MRI at the magic angle. Several experimental issues in the multi-component relaxation measurements were investigated, including the effects of echo spacing, the resolution of MRI experiments, the influence of the specimen orientations, and the strengths of different spin-lock frequencies in T1ρ experiments.Results:
Both the values and fractions of T2 in tendon showed significant orientational dependence. The values and fractions of T1ρ strongly depended on both the specimen orientation and the spin-lock strength. The imaging resolution (35–280 μm) had little influence in the T2 experiments. Both the echo spacings (0.6–3.0 ms) in the T2 experiment and the spin-lock strengths (0.5–5 kHz) in the T1ρ experiment affected the quantification of the multi-component relaxation. Up to three T2 and T1ρ components were resolved in tendon.Conclusion:
Multi-component relaxations could be attributed to different populations of water in the tissue. The transitions between a mono-component and multi-component result call for the caution in interpreting the relaxation results. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013;38:625–633. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.