Quantitative MRI of the Spinal Cord

Quantitative MRI of the Spinal Cord

1st Edition - January 16, 2014

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  • Editors: Julien Cohen-Adad, Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123969736
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123972828

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Quantitative MRI of the Spinal Cord is the first book focused on quantitative MRI techniques with specific application to the human spinal cord. This work includes coverage of diffusion-weighted imaging, magnetization transfer imaging, relaxometry, functional MRI, and spectroscopy. Although these methods have been successfully used in the brain for the past 20 years, their application in the spinal cord remains problematic due to important acquisition challenges (such as small cross-sectional size, motion, and susceptibility artifacts). To date, there is no consensus on how to apply these techniques; this book reviews and synthesizes state-of-the-art methods so users can successfully apply them to the spinal cord. Quantitative MRI of the Spinal Cord introduces the theory behind each quantitative technique, reviews each theory’s applications in the human spinal cord and describes its pros and cons, and suggests a simple protocol for applying each quantitative technique to the spinal cord.

Key Features

  • Chapters authored by international experts in the field of MRI of the spinal cord
  • Contains “cooking recipes”—examples of imaging parameters for each quantitative technique—designed to aid researchers and clinicians in using them in practice
  • Ideal for clinical settings


Neuroscience researchers and advanced students studying spinal cord physiology & pathophysiology; radiologists; clinicians (treating MS, ALS, etc)

Table of Contents

  • Table of Contents

    Cover image

    Title page






    Introduction to “Quantitative MRI of the Spinal Cord”

    Part I Quantitative Biomarkers in the Spinal Cord: what for?

    Chapter 1.1. Rationale for Quantitative MRI of the Human Spinal Cord and Clinical Applications

    1.1.1 Introduction

    1.1.2 Quantitative MRI Techniques

    1.1.3 Application of Quantitative MRI Techniques to Spinal Cord Disease

    1.1.4 Conclusions and Future Directions

    Chapter 1.2. Inflammatory Demyelinating Diseases

    1.2.1 Introduction

    1.2.2 Classification of Inflammatory Myelopathies

    1.2.3 Transverse Myelitis: A Practical Definition Based on MRI

    1.2.4 The Significance of TM and Its Relationship to MS and NMO

    1.2.5 Neuromyelitis Optica: The First Demyelinating Disease with a known Serum Marker

    1.2.6 MRI of the Spinal Cord: Qualitative versus Quantitative Imaging

    1.2.7 Magnetization Transfer MRI Studies of the Spinal Cord

    1.2.8 Diffusion-Weighted Imaging Studies in the Spinal Cord

    1.2.9 MR Spectroscopy

    1.2.10 Relaxometry in the Spinal Cord: T1 Mapping

    1.2.11 Measurements and Significance of Spinal Cord Atrophy

    1.2.12 Conclusions

    Chapter 1.3A. Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

    1.3A.1 Introduction

    1.3A.2 Message 1: Animal Models That Link Pathology of Acute Spinal Cord Injury to MR Signal Characteristics

    1.3A.3 Message 2: Quantitative MSCC and MCC

    1.3A.4 Message 3: MRI Signal Characteristics after Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: What is the Sensitivity and Specificity of Determining Neurologic Function at the Time of Injury and for Predicting Long-Term Prognosis?

    1.3A.5 Conclusions

    Chapter 1.3B. Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

    1.3B.1 Introduction

    1.3B.2 Neurophysiology and MRI: Complementary Approaches

    1.3B.3 Morphological Changes in the Spinal Cord after SCI

    1.3B.4 Relationship between Neurological Recovery and Morphological Changes

    1.3B.5 The MRI Paradox: When Anatomical Changes Do Not Correspond to Functional Changes

    1.3B.6 Conventional MRI Approaches in SCI Clinical Trial Management

    1.3B.7 Future Directions of MRI and SCI

    1.3B.8 Conclusions

    Part II Physics of MRI

    Chapter 2.1. Array Coils

    2.1.1 Introduction

    2.1.2 Coil Theory

    2.1.3 Array Coils

    2.1.4 Evaluation of Tx Array Coils

    2.1.5 Evaluation of Rx Array Coils

    2.1.6 Conclusion

    Chapter 2.2. B0 Inhomogeneity and Shimming

    2.2.1 Background

    2.2.2 Field Inhomogeneities in the Human Spinal Cord

    2.2.3 Shim Hardware

    2.2.4 Tune-up, Static, and Dynamic Shim

    2.2.5 Measurement of the Field Distribution

    2.2.6 Shim Algorithms

    2.2.7 Shim Practice

    2.2.8 Specific Problems and Solutions for T2∗-Weighted Acquisitions

    2.2.9 Specific Problems and Solutions for Diffusion-Weighted Acquisitions

    2.2.10 Specific Problems and Solutions for MRS

    2.2.11 Summary

    Chapter 2.3. Susceptibility Artifacts

    2.3.1 Introduction: Sources of Susceptibility Artifacts

    2.3.2 Artifacts in EPI of the Spinal Cord

    2.3.3 Methods to Reduce Susceptibility Artifacts

    2.3.4 Comparison of Methods to Reduce Susceptibility Artifacts

    2.3.5 Conclusion

    Chapter 2.4. Ultra-High Field Spinal Cord Imaging

    2.4.1 Background

    2.4.2 Anatomical MRI

    2.4.3 Quantitative MRI

    2.4.4 BOLD Functional MRI

    2.4.5 Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    2.4.6 Concluding Remarks

    Part III Imaging Spinal Cord Structure

    Chapter 3.1. Diffusion-Weighted Imaging of the Spinal Cord

    3.1.1 Principles of Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    3.1.2 Modeling the Diffusion Properties

    3.1.3 Data Acquisition

    3.1.4 Data Processing

    3.1.5 Tractography

    3.1.6 Quantify DWI Metrics in the Spinal Cord

    3.1.7 Diffusion Characteristics of the Neurologically Intact Spinal Cord

    3.1.8 Diffusion Characteristics following Spinal Cord Trauma

    3.1.9 Recipes for Implementation of Clinical Diffusion Imaging of the Spinal Cord

    Chapter 3.2. Q-Space Imaging

    3.2.1 Q-Space Theory

    3.2.2 Free, Hindered, and Restricted Diffusion

    3.2.3 Q-Space Imaging

    3.2.4 Limitations of QSI

    3.2.5 Acquisition of QSI Data in the Spinal Cord

    3.2.6 Data Processing

    3.2.7 Current In Vivo Spinal Cord Application of QSI

    3.2.8 Conclusion

    Chapter 3.3. Advanced Methods to Study White Matter Microstructure

    3.3.1 Introduction: Diffusion Imaging and Tissue Microstructure

    3.3.2 Advanced Methods for Studying White Matter

    3.3.3 Applications in Spinal Cord

    3.3.4 Summary

    Chapter 3.4. Magnetization Transfer

    3.4.1 The MT Phenomenon and Its Relationship to Myelin

    3.4.2 MT Contrast and MTR

    3.4.3 Measuring MT in the Spinal Cord

    3.4.4 MT Acquisition Protocols

    3.4.5 Quantitative Models of MT

    3.4.6 MT Data Analysis Methods

    3.4.7 Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer

    3.4.8 Conclusion

    Chapter 3.5. T2 Relaxation

    3.5.1 Overview

    3.5.2 T2 Relaxation in CNS Tissue

    3.5.3 Preclinical T2 Relaxation Studies in the Spine

    3.5.4 Human T2 Relaxation Studies in the Spinal Cord

    3.5.5 How to Collect and Analyze T2 Data from the Spinal Cord

    3.5.6 Concluding Remarks

    Chapter 3.6. Atrophy

    3.6.1 Historical Perspective

    3.6.2 MRI Scanning Considerations

    3.6.3 Semiautomated Atrophy Measurement

    3.6.4 Toward the Fully Automated

    3.6.5 Gray and White Matter Volumentry

    3.6.6 What Should We Measure?

    3.6.7 The Clinical Need for Atrophy Measurement

    3.6.8 Summary

    Part IV Imaging Spinal Cord Function

    Chapter 4.1. Spinal Cord fMRI

    4.1.1 Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent

    4.1.2 Challenges in fMRI of the Spinal Cord

    4.1.3 Data Acquisition

    4.1.4 Data Processing

    4.1.5 Conclusions

    4.1.6 Recipe

    Chapter 4.2. Physiological Noise Modeling and Analysis for Spinal Cord fMRI

    4.2.1 What is Physiological Noise?

    4.2.2 Time Domain Filtering

    4.2.3 Approaches for Reducing the Effects of Physiological Noise

    4.2.4 Modeling Physiological Noise

    4.2.5 Group Analysis

    4.2.6 Defining a Statistical Threshold (p-Value)

    4.2.7 Conclusions

    Chapter 4.3. Mapping the Vasculature of the Spinal Cord

    4.3.1 Rationale

    4.3.2 Vascular Anatomy

    4.3.3 MR Angiography

    4.3.4 Inlet Arteries or Outlet Veins?

    4.3.5 Spinal Cord Veins and the BOLD Effect

    4.3.6 Outlook

    Part V Spectroscopy

    Chapter 5.1. Single Voxel MR Spectroscopy in the Spinal Cord

    5.1.1 Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    5.1.2 1H MRS in the Spinal Cord

    5.1.3 Technical Issues

    5.1.4 Non-Proton MRS of the Spinal Cord

    5.1.5 Recommended Protocol

    Annex: Anatomy of the Spinal Cord


Product details

  • No. of pages: 330
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2014
  • Published: January 16, 2014
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123969736
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123972828

About the Editors

Julien Cohen-Adad

Julien Cohen-Adad
Dr. Cohen-Adad is developing advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for quantitative assessment of the brain and spinal cord structure and function. These developments include hardware (coils), MRI sequences (relaxometry, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetization transfer, functional MRI) and software (multimodal registration, segmentation, motion correction, distortion correction, template creation). Between 2005 and 2008 he did his PhD at Université de Montréal (Canada) and Pitié-Salpétrière Hospital (Paris, France), during which he translated research protocols to clinics for the quantitative evaluation of chronic spinal cord injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. Between 2009 and 2012, he did his postdoctoral fellowship at the MGH Martinos Center at Harvard University, aiming to further his expertise in Ultra-High Field MRI technology (7 Tesla) and coil building. Since his faculty appointment at Polytechnique Montreal in 2012, he has been pursuing these developments while setting up a lab environment for transferring knowledge to the local community.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, and Functional Neuroimaging Unit, CRIUGM, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada

Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott

Affiliations and Expertise

University College London, Institute of Neurology, UK

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