MP2RAGE, a self bias-field corrected sequence for improved segmentation and T1-mapping at high field

Neuroimage. 2010 Jan 15;49(2):1271-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Oct 9.


The large spatial inhomogeneity in transmit B(1) field (B(1)(+)) observable in human MR images at high static magnetic fields (B(0)) severely impairs image quality. To overcome this effect in brain T(1)-weighted images, the MPRAGE sequence was modified to generate two different images at different inversion times, MP2RAGE. By combining the two images in a novel fashion, it was possible to create T(1)-weighted images where the result image was free of proton density contrast, T(2) contrast, reception bias field, and, to first order, transmit field inhomogeneity. MP2RAGE sequence parameters were optimized using Bloch equations to maximize contrast-to-noise ratio per unit of time between brain tissues and minimize the effect of B(1)(+) variations through space. Images of high anatomical quality and excellent brain tissue differentiation suitable for applications such as segmentation and voxel-based morphometry were obtained at 3 and 7 T. From such T(1)-weighted images, acquired within 12 min, high-resolution 3D T(1) maps were routinely calculated at 7 T with sub-millimeter voxel resolution (0.65-0.85 mm isotropic). T(1) maps were validated in phantom experiments. In humans, the T(1) values obtained at 7 T were 1.15+/-0.06 s for white matter (WM) and 1.92+/-0.16 s for grey matter (GM), in good agreement with literature values obtained at lower spatial resolution. At 3 T, where whole-brain acquisitions with 1 mm isotropic voxels were acquired in 8 min, the T(1) values obtained (0.81+/-0.03 s for WM and 1.35+/-0.05 for GM) were once again found to be in very good agreement with values in the literature.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Phantoms, Imaging