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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Characterization of myelin water imaging using a gradient and spin echo sequence in human brain and spinal cord Ljungberg, Emil


Myelin water imaging is a quantitative magnetic resonance imaging technique that can be used as an in vivo biomarker for myelin in the central nervous system. In 2007, a paradigm shift took place when the standard sequence for myelin water imaging changed from a multi-echo spin echo sequence to a gradient and spin echo (GRASE) sequence. The GRASE sequence has so far only been applied to brain imaging, and reproducibility between different scan vendors has not been assessed. In this study I present the first implementation of myelin water imaging using GRASE in human cervical spinal cord. The reproducibility of myelin water imaging in the spinal cord was found to be high (coefficient of variation = 6.1%, Cronbach’s α = 0.89). A multicenter reproducibility study of myelin water imaging in brain between two scan vendors (Siemens and Philips) was also performed. Results from the two scanners were found to be highly correlated but with a significant offset in myelin water fraction of 4.3%. Together, these two studies provide strong evidence of the reproducibility of myelin water imaging. It is an important step forward in the development of bringing myelin water imaging to the mainstream.

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