Lena Altherr1, Stefan Kirsch1, M. L. R. Schwarz2, Gregor Reisig2, Dieter Schleich2, Lothar R. Schad1
1Computer Assisted Clinical Medicine, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany; 2Department for experimental orthopaedics and trauma surgery, OUZ Mannheim, University Medical Centre, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
Mapping of ultrashort T2* with UTE sequences provides high SNR/time and should be well suited for studying degeneration of musculoskeletal tissue in vivo. However, chemical shift and magnetic field inhomogeneities can strongly influence the shape of the T2* signal decay. The reliability of T2* mapping performed on isolated porcine intervertebral discs was investigated with a standard 2D-UTE sequence at 9.4 T. Results show that the signal decay is affected regionally by different physical effects. Interpretation of T2* maps should therefore be handled with great care.