Accuracy and reproducibility of a quantitative magnetic resonance imaging method for concurrent measurements of tissue relaxation times and proton density

Magn Reson Imaging. 2015 Jun;33(5):584-91. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2015.02.013. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy and reproducibility of a quantitative magnetic resonance (qMR) imaging method (QRAPMASTER) for simultaneous measurements of T1 and T2 relaxation times, and proton density (PD).

Materials and methods: Measurements of T1, T2, and PD with qMR were performed using phantoms with different relaxation times and concentrations of heavy water. Healthy volunteers were examined with different head coils. Regional measurements were performed in normal-appearing white and gray matter from the healthy control subjects, and in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Results: In phantom measurements, QRAPMASTER slightly underestimated T1, and T2 variations between repeated measurements were modest. PD was generally overestimated. The overall relative difference was -1.2±5.3% (T1), -6.6±1.9% (T2), and 0.7±5.1% (PD). In healthy volunteers, there were no statistically significant differences of T1, T2 or PD using different head coils. Values of T1, T2, and PD obtained in healthy controls and MS patients were within reference ranges. However, significant differences were found in normal-appearing gray and white matter.

Conclusion: QRAPMASTER can be considered a sufficiently accurate and reproducible method for use in clinical practice. Neuropathology in normal-appearing brain tissue may be revealed using this MR method, with putative implications for quantification of tissue damage in neurological diseases.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; PD mapping; Quantitative MRI; Synthetic MRI; T1 mapping; T2 mapping.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Protons*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Protons