Magnetic Field and Tissue Dependencies of Human Brain Longitudinal 1H2O Relaxation in Vivo

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Brain water proton (1H2O) longitudinal relaxation time constants (T1) were obtained from three healthy individuals at magnetic field strengths (B0) of 0.2 Tesla (T), 1.0T, 1.5T, 4.0T, and 7.0T. A 5-mm midventricular axial slice was sampled using a modified Look-Locker technique with 1.5 mm in-plane resolution, and 32 time points post-adiabatic inversion. The results confirmed that for most brain tissues,T1 values increased by more than a factor of 3 between 0.2T and 7T, and over this range were well fitted byT1 (s) = 0.583(B0)0.382,T1(s) = 0.857(B0)0.376, andT1(s) = 1.35(B0)0.340 for white matter (WM), internal GM, and blood 1H2O, respectively. The ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 1H2OT1 value did not change withB0, and its average value (standard deviation (SD)) across subjects and magnetic fields was 4.3 (±0.2) s. The tissue 1/T1 values at each field were well correlated with the macromolecular mass fraction, and to a lesser extent tissue iron content. The field-dependent increases in 1H2OT1 values more than offset the well-known decrease in typical MRI contrast reagent (CR) relaxivity, and simulations predict that this leads to lower CR concentration detection thresholds with increased magnetic field. Magn Reson Med 57:308–318, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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