Origins of the ultrashort-T2 1H NMR signals in myelinated nerve: a direct measure of myelin content?

Magn Reson Med. 2011 Jul;66(1):24-31. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22980. Epub 2011 May 13.


Recently developed MRI techniques have enabled clinical imaging of short-lived (1)H NMR signals with T(2) < 1 ms. Using these techniques, novel signal enhancement has been observed in myelinated tissues, although the source of this enhancement has not been identified. Herein, we report studies of the nature and origins of ultrashort T(2) (uT(2)) signals (50 μs < T(2) < 1 ms) from amphibian and mammalian myelinated nerves. NMR measurements and comparisons with myelin phantoms and expected myelin components indicate that these uT(2) signals arise predominantly from methylene (1)H on/in the myelin membranes, which suggests that direct measurement of uT(2) signals can be used as a new means for quantitative myelin mapping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Myelin Sheath / chemistry*
  • Nerve Tissue / chemistry*
  • Optic Nerve / chemistry*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sciatic Nerve / chemistry*
  • Xenopus