Yi-Xiang Wang1, Feng Zhao1, James F. Griffith1, Greta SP Mok2, Queenie Chan3, Jing Yuan1
1Dept Imaging & Interventional Radiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong; 2Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Macau, Macau; 3Philips Healthcare, Hong Kong
The purpose of the current in vivo 3.0 T MRI study is to determine the relative performance of T1rho and T2 relaxation times in their assessment of disc degeneration with reference to an 8-level disc degeneration grading systems. For nucleus pulposus, T1rho and T2 relaxation times followed the same trend with their correlations to semi-quantitative gradings. T1rho relaxation time offered distinct advantage over T2 relaxation time in the evaluation of annulus fibrosus degeneration. While there were almost no changes of annulus fibrosus T2 values as the disc degeneration grades increased, T1rho decreased apparently as disc degeneration grades increased.