Field dependence of T2* contrast in human substantia nigra
Malte Brammerloh1,2, Evgeniya Kirilina1,3, Renat Sibgatulin4, Karl-Heinz Herrmann4, Tilo Reinert1,5, Carsten Jäger1,6, Primož Pelicon7, Kerrin J. Pine1, Primož Vavpetič7, Andreas Deistung8, Markus Morawski6, Jürgen R. Reichenbach4, and Nikolaus Weiskopf1,5
1Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 2Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, 3Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 4Medical Physics Group, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Jena, Jena, Germany, 5Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, 6Paul Flechsig Institute of Brain Research, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, 7Department for Low and Medium Energy Physics, Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 86University Clinic and Outpatient Clinic for Radiology, University Hospital Halle (Saale), Halle (Saale), Germany
MRI holds high promise to diagnose Parkinson’s disease (PD) at clinical field strength B0. However, it remains unclear which B0 optimizes T2* contrast in substantia nigra, which provides high diagnostic accuracy. We used quantitative MRI at B0=1.5T-9.4T, MR microscopy, and histochemistry to characterize the field dependence of the major contributors to R2* (1/T2*): dopaminergic neurons, ferritin, and myelin. R2* maps were similar at B0=3T-9.4T, and all contributions scaled approximately linearly with B0. Hence, the contrast mechanisms are similar across currently available MRI field strengths in vivo, which informs the design of novel PD biomarkers.
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