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Abstract #1668

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

1 Department of Neurology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria, 2 MGH/HST Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3 Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Austria, 4 Institute of Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, University of Graz, Austria

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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