Quantitative magnetization transfer characteristics of the human cervical spinal cord in vivo: Application to adrenomyeloneuropathy

Seth A. Smith, Xavier Golay, Ali Fatemi, Asif Mahmood, Gerald V. Raymond, Hugo W. Moser, Peter C.M. Van Zijl, Greg J. Stanisz

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43 Scopus citations


Magnetization transfer (MT) imaging has assessed myelin integrity in the brain and spinal cord; however, quantitative MT (qMT) has been confined to the brain or excised tissue. We characterized spinal cord tissue with qMT in vivo, and as a first application, qMT-derived metrics were examined in adults with the genetic disorder Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN). AMN is a progressive disease marked by demyelination of the white matter tracts of the cervical spinal cord, and a disease in which conventional MRI has been limited. MT data were acquired at 1.5 Tesla using 10 radiofrequency offsets at one power in the cervical cord at C2 in 6 healthy volunteers and 9 AMN patients. The data were fit to a two-pool MT model and the macromo- lecular fraction (Mob), macromolecular transverse relaxation time (T2b) and the rate of MT exchange (R) for lateral and dorsal column white matter and gray matter were calculated. Mob for healthy volunteers was: WM = 13.9 ± 2.3%, GM = 7.9 ± 1.5%. In AMN, dorsal column Mob was significantly decreased (P < 0.03). T2b for volunteers was: 9 ± 2 μs and the rate of MT exchange (R) was: WM = 56 ± 11 Hz, GM = 67 ± 12 Hz. Neither T2b nor R showed significant differences between healthy and diseased cords. Comparisons are made between qMT, and conventional MT acquisitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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