Post-mortem cerebral magnetic resonance imaging T 1 and T 2 in fetuses, newborns and infants

Sudhin Thayyil, Enrico De Vita, Neil J. Sebire, Alan Bainbridge, David Thomas, Roxanne Gunny, Kling Chong, Mark F. Lythgoe, Xavier Golay, Nicola J. Robertson, Ernest B. Cady, Andrew M. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (PM MRI) of brain is increasingly used in clinical practice; understanding of normal PM contrast to noise ratio (CNR), T 1 and T 2 values relaxation times is important for optimisation and accurate interpretation of PM MRI. Methods: We obtained T 1- and T 2-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) T 1 post-mortem in 18 fetuses and T 1 and T 2 post-mortem 6 infants prior to autopsy. Results: Phase I: post-mortem T 1- and T 2-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 T 2-weighted WM signal intensity. Mean (SD) post-mortem T 1 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 T 2 was 283 (11) ms in WM and 182 (18) ms in deep GM in infants and newborns (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Post-mortem T 1 and T 2 values are higher than those reported from live cases. The difference between T 1 values in GM and WM reduce after death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e232-e238
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Post-mortem
  • Relaxometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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