Purpose: The purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of different slice thicknesses and/or interslice gaps on longitudinal and transverse relaxation times (T1 and T2) measured by a multi-dynamic, multi-echo (MDME) sequence.
Materials and methods: This retrospective study included nine healthy subjects who underwent MDME sequence (at 3T) with four different combinations of slice thicknesses and/or interslice gaps: slice thickness of 4 mm and interslice gap of 0 mm (TH4/G0), TH4/G1, TH5/G0, and TH5/G1. T1 and T2 were measured in various brain regions by a qualified neuroradiologist with 8 years of clinical experience: the frontal white matter (WM), occipital WM, genu, splenium, frontal cortex, thalamus, putamen, caudate head, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The paired samples t-test was used to investigate the effect of different slice thicknesses and interslice gaps (TH4/G0 versus TH4/G1 and TH5/G0 versus TH5/G1). P < 0.013 was considered statistically significant.
Results: T2 in all brain regions and T1 in the frontal WM, putamen, and CSF did not significantly change for different slice thicknesses and/or gaps (Ps > 0.013). In addition, T1 in all brain regions of interest did not significantly change between TH4/G0, TH4/G1, TH5/G0 and TH5/G1. However, T1 in some of the brain regions was higher with TH4/G0 than with TH5/G0 (occipital WM, frontal cortex, and caudate head) and with TH4/G1 than with TH5/G1 (occipital WM, genu, splenium and thalamus, all Ps < 0.013).
Conclusion: T2 estimated using the MDME sequence was stable regardless of slice thickness or gap. Although the sequence seems to provide stable relaxation values, identical slice thicknesses need to be used for follow-up to prevent potential T1 changes.
Keywords: T1-relaxation time; T2-relaxation time; interslice gap; multi-dynamic multi-echo sequence; slice thickness.