Background: Inhomogeneous Magnetization Transfer (ihMT) is an emerging, uniquely myelin-specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast. Current ihMT acquisitions utilise fast Gradient Echo sequences which are among the most acoustically noisy MRI sequences, reducing patient comfort during acquisition. We sought to address this by modifying a near silent MRI sequence to include ihMT contrast. Methods: A Magnetization Transfer preparation module was incorporated into a radial Zero Echo-Time sequence. Repeatability of the ihMT ratio and inverse ihMT ratio were assessed in a cohort of healthy subjects. We also investigated how head orientation affects ihMT across subjects, as a previous study in a single subject suggests this as a potential confound. Results: We demonstrated that ihMT ratios comparable to existing, acoustically loud, implementations could be obtained with the silent sequence. We observed a small but significant effect of head orientation on inverse ihMTR. Conclusions: Silent ihMT imaging is a comparable alternative to conventional, noisy, alternatives. For all future ihMT studies we recommend careful positioning of the subject within the scanner.
Keywords: Myelin; RUFIS; Silent MRI; ZTE; ihMT.
Copyright: © 2020 Wood TC et al.