Effects of formalin fixation on MR relaxation times in the human brain
Christoph Birkl 1 , Christian Langkammer 2 , Nicole Golob-Schwarzl 3 , Marlene Leoni 3 , Johannes Haybaeck 3 , Walter Goessler 4 , Franz Fazekas 1 , and Stefan Ropele 1
Department of Neurology, Medical University
of Graz, Graz, Austria,
Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical
School, Boston, MA, United States,
of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, Medical
University of Graz, Austria,
of Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, University of Graz,
Post mortem MRI is commonly used to validate
quantitative MRI methods and to improve our
understanding of relaxation in tissue. However, formalin
which is frequently used to preserve tissue samples for
degradation, can substantially affect MR relaxation
times, which hampers comparison with in vivo conditions.
In this study, we systematically evaluated the influence
of formalin fixation on MR relaxation times by combining
water content measurements, electrophoresis, and
temperature dependent relaxation time measurements. Our
results suggest that formalin induced cross-linking is
the main reason for the shortening of relaxation times
while changes of water content do not play a major role.
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