Measurement of T1 and T2 in the cervical spinal cord at 3 Tesla

Seth A. Smith, Richard A.E. Edden, Jonathan A.D. Farrell, Peter B. Barker, Peter C.M. Van Zijl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


T1 and T2 were measured for white matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) in the human cervical spinal cord at 3T. T1 values were calculated using an inversion-recovery (IR) and B1-corrected double flip angle gradient echo (GRE) and show significant differences (p = 0.002) between WM (IR = 876 ± 27 ms, GRE = 838 ± 54 ms) and GM (IR = 973 ± 33 ms, GRE = 994 ± 54 ms). IR showed significant difference between lateral and dorsal column WM (863 ± 23 ms and 899 ± 18 ms, respectively, p = 0.01) but GRE did not (p = 0.40). There was no significant difference (p = 0.31) in T2 between WM (73 ± 6 ms) and GM (76 ± 3 ms) or between lateral and dorsal columns (lateral: 73 ± 6 ms, dorsal: 72 ± 7 ms, p = 0.59). WM relaxation times were similar to brain structures with very dense fiber packing (e.g., corpus callosum), while GM values resembled deep GM in brain. Optimized sequence parameters for maximal contrast between WM and GM, and between WM and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were derived. Since the spinal cord has rostral-caudal symmetry, we expect these findings to be applicable to the whole cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • 3 Tesla T1
  • Measurement
  • Relaxation
  • Spinal cord
  • T2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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