Rapid high-resolution three-dimensional mapping of T1 and age-dependent variations in the non-human primate brain using magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo (MPRAGE) sequence
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The use of quantitative T(1) mapping in neuroscience and neurology has raised strong interest in the development of T(1)-mapping techniques that can measure T(1) in the whole brain, with high accuracy and precision and within short imaging and computation times. Here, we present a new inversion-recovery (IR) based T(1)-mapping method using a standard 3D magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo (MPRAGE) sequence. By varying only the inversion time (TI), but keeping other parameters constant, MPRAGE image signals become linear to exp(-TI/T(1)), allowing for accurate T(1) estimation without flip angle correction. We also show that acquiring data at just 3 TIs, with the three different TI values optimized, gives maximum T(1) precision per unit time, allowing for new efficient approaches to measure and compute T(1). We demonstrate the use of our method at 7 T to obtain 3D T(1) maps of the whole brain in common marmosets at 0.60mm resolution and within 11 min. T(1) maps from the same individuals were highly reproducible across different days. Across subjects, the peak of cerebral gray matter T(1) distribution was 1735±52 ms, and the lower edge of cerebral white matter T(1) distribution was 1270±43 ms. We found a significant decrease of T(1) in both gray and white matter of the marmoset brain with age over a span of 14 years, in agreement with previous human studies. This application illustrates that MPRAGE-based 3D T(1) mapping is rapid, accurate and precise, and can facilitate high-resolution anatomical studies in neuroscience and neurological diseases.
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