Whole-body magnetization transfer contrast imaging




To demonstrate the feasibility of whole-body magnetization transfer (MT) contrast imaging.

Materials and Methods

Whole-body MT imaging was performed on eight healthy volunteers and five patients (mean age = 40.5 ± 17.8 years) with diagnoses of dermatomyositis (N = 1), B-symptoms with suspicion of paraneoplastic disease (N = 1), metastatic malignant melanoma (N = 1), and multiple sclerosis (MS) (N = 2). Measurements were carried out on a 1.5-Tesla whole-body MR scanner capable of parallel signal reception. A three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo sequence (TR = 17 msec, TE = 4.8 msec, flip angle = 10°) was applied in combination with a Gaussian off-resonance MT preparation pulse acting at an off-resonance of 1.500 Hz with a 500° effective flip angle. Whole-body images were constructed from five different body regions.


In all subjects, whole-body MT contrast images were obtained within less than 20 minutes of measuring time. The images showed sufficient diagnostic image quality to assess the patients' pathologies. The MT ratios (MTRs, in percent units) for the volunteers were as follows: white matter (WM) 51.1 ± 1.0, gray matter (GM) 42.2 ± 1.3, skeletal muscle (mean value of four muscle groups) 50.3 ± 2.1, liver 39.4 ± 3.2, spleen 31.8 ± 2.6, renal cortex 30.4 ± 1.9, and renal medulla 25.6 ± 1.3. The MTRs for the pathologies were as follows: skeletal muscle in dermatomyositis ∼30, metastases in malignant melanoma 30.7–36.0, uterus myoma 49.3, and MS lesions 30–40.


Our preliminary data indicate that MT contrast in whole-body MRI is feasible, and may be useful for rapid whole-body assessment of diseases that exhibit high contrast in MT imaging, such as MS and muscular disorders. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.