Alexander C. Wright1, Sung M. Moon1, 2, Jonathon H. Yoder2, Edward J. Vresilovic2, Dawn M. Elliott2
1Laboratory for Structural NMR Imaging, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
High-resolution MRI (200 m isotropic) at 7T was used to visualize the anatomy of the sub-structures of the human intervertebral disc, and T1 and T2 relaxation parameter maps were acquired on a specimen. Based on these, a T1-T2 cluster analysis revealed distinct differentiation of the disc sub-structures. A similar trend was observed even for T1- and T2-weighted images. These concepts were tested in vivo at 3T in order to assess their potential role as a grading scheme for disc degeneration.