ABSTRACT: Post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (PM MRI) of brain is increasingly used in clinical practice; understanding of normal PM contrast to noise ratio (CNR), T1 and T2 values relaxation times is important for optimisation and accurate interpretation of PM MRI.
We obtained T1- and T2-weighted images at 1.5 T. In the first phase of the study, we calculated CNR in twelve brain regions in 5 newborn infants after death and compared this with CNR from 5 infants during life. In the second phase, we measured deep grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) T1 post-mortem in 18 fetuses and T1 and T2 post-mortem 6 infants prior to autopsy.
Phase I: post-mortem T1- and T2-weighted CNRs were lower in most brain regions than during life. Phase II: compared with in vivo, all post-mortem images lacked GM-WM contrast and had high T2-weighted WM signal intensity. Mean (SD) post-mortem T1 in white and deep gray matter were respectively 1898 (327)ms and 1514 (202)ms in fetuses (p>0.05) and 1234 (180)ms and 1016 (161)ms in infants and newborns (p>0.05). Mean (SD) post-mortem T2 was 283 (11)ms in WM and 182 (18)ms in deep GM in infants and newborns (p<0.001).
Post-mortem T1 and T2 values are higher than those reported from live cases. The difference between T1 values in GM and WM reduce after death.
European journal of radiology 02/2011; 81(3):e232-8. · 2.65 Impact Factor