The role of edema and demyelination in chronic T1 black holes: A quantitative magnetization transfer study

Ives Levesque, John G. Sled, Sridar Narayanan, A. Carlos Santos, Steven D. Brass, Simon J. Francis, Douglas L. Arnold, G. Bruce Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: To use quantitative magnetization transfer imaging (qMTI) in an investigation of T1-weighted hypointensity observed in clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, which has previously been proposed as a more specific indicator of tissue damage than the more commonly detected T2 hyperintensity. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 10 MS patients was performed using qMTI. A total of 60 MTI measurements were collected in each patient at a resolution of 2 X 2 X 7 mm, over a range of saturation pulses. The observed T1 and T2 were also measured. qMT model parameters were estimated using a voxel-by-voxel fit. Results: A total of 65 T2-hyperintense lesions were identified; 53 were also T1 hypointense. In these black holes, the qMTI-derived semisolid pool fraction F correlated negatively with T 1.obs (r2 = 0.76; P < 0.0001). The water pool absolute size (PDf) showed a weaker correlation with T1.obs (positive, r2 = 0.53; P < 0.0001). The magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) showed a similarly strong correlation with F and a weaker correlation with PDf (r2 = 0.18; P < 0.04). Conclusion: T1 increases in chronic black holes strongly correlated with the decline in semisolid pool size, and somewhat less to the confounding effect of edema. MTR was less sensitive than T1.obs to liquid pool changes associated with edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Edema
  • Magnetization transfer
  • MRI
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myelin
  • Quantitative imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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