Variations in the intrinsic T(1) and T(2) relaxation times have been implicated in numerous neurologic conditions. Unfortunately, the low resolution and long imaging time associated with conventional methods have prevented T(1) and T(2) mapping from becoming part of routine clinical evaluation. In this study, the clinical applicability of the DESPOT1 and DESPOT2 imaging methods for high-resolution, whole-brain, T(1) and T(2) mapping was investigated. In vivo, 1-mm(3) isotropic whole-brain T(1) and T(2) maps of six healthy volunteers were acquired at 1.5 T with an imaging time of <17 min each. Isotropic maps (0.34 mm(3)) of one volunteer were also acquired (time <21 min). Average signal-to-noise within the 1-mm(3) T(1) and T(2) maps was approximately 20 and approximately 14, respectively, with average repeatability standard deviations of 46.7 ms and 6.7 ms. These results demonstrate the clinical feasibility of the methods in the study of neurologic disease.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.