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Abstract #3134

Enhancing Magnetization Transfer Contrast (MTC): A proof-of-concept study of MTC-STAGE Imaging

Jun Chen Li1,2, Yu Liu1, Yongsheng Chen3, Zhijia Jin1, Naying He1, Weibo Chen4, Fuhua Yan1, and Ewart Mark Haacke1,5,6
1Radiology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China, 2Radiology, Changshu Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Changshu, China, 3Neurology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States, 4Philips Healthcare, Shanghai, China, 5Radiology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States, 6Biomedical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States

Magnetization transfer contrast (MTC) imaging has been used to study neuromelanin (NM) in Parkinson’s disease. By suppressing the background tissue using an MTC pulse in a T1W sequence, the NM becomes visible, supposedly because of its reduced T1. However, we show using STAGE (strategically acquired gradient echo) imaging with/without an MTC pulse that this is not the reason for its visibility. Rather, it is the increased water content relative to surrounding tissue that keeps the signal high. Using the appropriate choice of flip angles and resolution, the NM contrast on MTC images can be significantly increased.

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