To develop a fast and robust method for measuring T1 in the whole cervical spinal cord in vivo, and to assess its reproducibility.
A spatially nonselective adiabatic inversion pulse is combined with zonally oblique‐magnified multislice echo‐planar imaging to produce a reduced field‐of‐view inversion‐recovery echo‐planar imaging protocol. Multi‐ inversion time data are obtained by cycling slice order throughout sequence repetitions. Measurement of T1 is performed using 12 inversion times for a total protocol duration of 7 min. Reproducibility of regional T1 estimates is assessed in a scan‐rescan experiment on five heathy subjects.
Regional mean (standard deviation) T1 was: 1108.5 (±77.2) ms for left lateral column, 1110.1 (±83.2) ms for right lateral column, 1150.4 (±102.6) ms for dorsal column, and 1136.4 (±90.8) ms for gray matter. Regional T1 estimates showed good correlation between sessions (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.89 (P value < 0.01); mean difference = 2 ms, 95% confidence interval ± 20 ms); and high reproducibility (intersession coefficient of variation approximately 1% in all the regions considered, intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.88 (P value < 0.01, confidence interval 0.71–0.95)).
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.