Magnetic resonance imaging of myelin

Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Jul;4(3):460-84. doi: 10.1016/j.nurt.2007.05.004.


The ability to measure myelin in vivo has great consequences for furthering our knowledge of normal development, as well as for understanding a wide range of neurological disorders. The following review summarizes the current state of myelin imaging using MR. We consider five MR techniques that have been used to study myelin: 1) conventional MR, 2) MR spectroscopy, 3) diffusion, 4) magnetization transfer, and 5) T2 relaxation. Fundamental studies involving peripheral nerve and MR/histology comparisons have aided in the interpretation and validation of MR data. We highlight a number of important findings related to myelin development, damage, and repair, and we conclude with a critical summary of the current techniques available and their potential to image myelin in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Myelin Sheath / ultrastructure*