NMR imaging of the brain

Neuroradiology. 1982;23(5):231-40. doi: 10.1007/BF00339389.


The basic features of an NMR imaging system are outlined and three pulse sequences which produce images with varying dependence on proton density T1 and T2 are described. The first of these sequences, Repeated Free Induction Decay produces images which demonstrate changes in proton density as well as flow effects. The second sequence, Inversion-recovery, produces images which are dependent on T1 and show a high level of grey, white matter contrast giving considerable anatomical detail. In addition pathological processes such as infarction, haemorrhages, demyelination and malignancy, produce changes in T1 enabling lesions to be localised. The third sequence, Spin-echo, produces images which are dependent on T2. These show very little grey, white matter contrast but demonstrate acute and space occupying lesions as well as cerebral oedema. The high level of grey, white matter contrast, lack of bone artefact, variety of sequences, capacity for multiplanar imaging, sensitivity to pathological change and lack of known hazard make NMR an important addition to existing techniques of neurological diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Abscess / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Demyelinating Diseases / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / standards
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed