Quantitative magnetization transfer imaging yields indices describing the interactions between free water protons and immobile, macromolecular protons-including the macromolecular to free pool size ratio (PSR) and the rate of magnetization transfer between pools k(mf) . This study describes the first implementation of the selective inversion recovery quantitative magnetization transfer method on a clinical 3.0-T scanner in human brain in vivo. Selective inversion recovery data were acquired at 16 different inversion times in nine healthy subjects and two patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Data were collected using a fast spin-echo readout and reduced repetition time, resulting in an acquisition time of 4 min for a single slice. In healthy subjects, excellent intersubject and intrasubject reproducibilities (assessed via repeated measures) were demonstrated. Furthermore, PSR values in white (mean ± SD = 11.4 ± 1.2%) and gray matter (7.5 ± 0.7%) were consistent with previously reported values, while k(mf) values were approximately 2-fold slower in both white (11 ± 2 s(-1) ) and gray matter (15 ± 6 s(-1) ). In relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients, quantitative magnetization transfer indices were sensitive to pathological changes in lesions and in normal appearing white matter.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.