Inferring brain tissue composition and microstructure via MR relaxometry

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MRI relaxometry is sensitive to a variety of tissue characteristics in a complex manner, which makes it both attractive and challenging for characterizing tissue. This article reviews the most common water proton relaxometry measures, Symbol, Symbol, and Symbol, and reports on their development and current potential to probe the composition and microstructure of brain tissue. The development of these relaxometry measures is challenged by the need for suitably accurate tissue models, as well as robust acquisition and analysis methodologies. MRI relaxometry has been established as a tool for characterizing neural tissue, particular with respect to myelination, and the potential for further development exists.HighlightsMRI relaxometry is sensitive to brain tissue microstructure.Each of T1, T2, and T2* relaxometry can be used.Tissue models, acquisition methods, and analysis methods are important.

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