Validating Quantitative MRI for the Study of Brain Microstructure

A direct link between tissue microstructure and its magnetic properties need to be established. Although ex vivo tissue in combination with histology is helpful in specific contexts (e.g. detection of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s in small tissue speciments) a more general use requires adaptation to high field and characterization of the fixation process per se.

We performed whole brain MRI of ex vivo samples, and found that the dielectric properties of the fixative deteriorated B1+ homogeneity at 9.4T[1]. Alternative fixative agents with improved properties were developed [2]. Interestingly, quantitative MRI was helpful to characterize the fixation process, and could serve as a marker to assure reproducible results in future validation studies.


Hagberg GE., Shiozawa T, Mirkes C, Engelmann J, Bause J, Hirt B, Scheffler K.:
MRI of whole brain formalin-fixed samples at 9.4T: influence of the fixation agent and its dielectric properties on image quality.

Proc Intl Soc Mag Reson Med. 2018;26:3310.

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