Magnetic resonance imaging of frozen tissues: temperature-dependent MR signal characteristics and relevance for MR monitoring of cryosurgery

Magn Reson Med. 1999 Mar;41(3):627-30. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1522-2594(199903)41:3<627::aid-mrm28>;2-q.


Previously, the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging appearance of frozen tissues created during cryosurgery has been described as a signal void. In this work, very short echo times (1.2 msec) allowed MR signals from frozen tissues to be measured at temperatures down to -35 degrees C. Ex vivo bovine liver, muscle, adipose tissue, and water were imaged at steady-state temperatures from -78 degrees to +6 degrees C. Signal intensity, T2*, and T1 were measured using gradient-echo imaging. Signal intensity and T2* decrease monotonically with temperature. In the future, these MR parameters may be useful for mapping temperatures during cryosurgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cryosurgery
  • Culture Techniques
  • Freezing*
  • Liver / anatomy & histology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / instrumentation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Temperature