Fast and reproducible in vivo T1 mapping of the human cervical spinal cord

Marco Battiston*, Torben Schneider, Ferran Prados, Francesco Grussu, Marios C. Yiannakas, Sebastien Ourselin, Claudia A.M. Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott, Rebecca S. Samson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To develop a fast and robust method for measuring T1 in the whole cervical spinal cord in vivo, and to assess its reproducibility. Methods: A spatially nonselective adiabatic inversion pulse is combined with zonally oblique-magnified multislice echo-planar imaging to produce a reduced field-of-view inversion-recovery echo-planar imaging protocol. Multi- inversion time data are obtained by cycling slice order throughout sequence repetitions. Measurement of T1 is performed using 12 inversion times for a total protocol duration of 7 min. Reproducibility of regional T1 estimates is assessed in a scan-rescan experiment on five heathy subjects. Results: Regional mean (standard deviation) T1 was: 1108.5 (±77.2) ms for left lateral column, 1110.1 (±83.2) ms for right lateral column, 1150.4 (±102.6) ms for dorsal column, and 1136.4 (±90.8) ms for gray matter. Regional T1 estimates showed good correlation between sessions (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.89 (P value < 0.01); mean difference = 2 ms, 95% confidence interval ± 20 ms); and high reproducibility (intersession coefficient of variation approximately 1% in all the regions considered, intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.88 (P value < 0.01, confidence interval 0.71–0.95)). Conclusions: T1 estimates in the cervical spinal cord are reproducible using inversion-recovery zonally oblique-magnified multislice echo-planar imaging. The short acquisition time and large coverage of this method paves the way for accurate T1 mapping for various spinal cord pathologies. Magn Reson Med 79:2142–2148, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2142-2148
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date24 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • inversion Recovery
  • reduced FOV
  • reproducibility
  • spinal cord
  • T mapping


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