Gopal Varma1, Alexander Ivanishev, 12, Robert L. Greenman1, Fotini Kourtelidis1, David B. Hackney3, Robert E. Lenkinski, 12, Elena Vinogradov, 12
1Radiology, Division of MR Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States; 2Radiology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States; 3Neuroradiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States
The biochemical processes associated with degeneration of intervertebral discs (IVDs) are complex and have been found to include a loss of glycosaminoglycans (GAG). The concentration of GAG is correlated with sodium concentration and can be assessed by sodium MRI. The SNR from sodium MRI can be improved by weighted signal averaging, which is used in this work to acquire data from the L4/L5 IVD of volunteers of varying age to look at degeneration. The results allow distinction of the Na signal from the nucleus of the IVDs, which decreases with age.