Quantifying T2 relaxation time changes within lesions defined by apparent diffusion coefficient in grey and white matter in acute stroke patients

Robin A. Damion, Michael J. Knight, Bryony L. McGarry, Rose Bosnell, Peter Jezzard, George W.J. Harston, Davide Carone, James Kennedy, Salwa El-Tawil, Jennifer Elliot, Keith W. Muir, Philip Clatworthy, Risto A. Kauppinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
247 Downloads (Pure)


The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of cerebral water, as measured by diffusion MRI, rapidly decreases in ischaemia, highlighting a lesion in acute stroke patients. The MRI T 2 relaxation time changes in ischaemic brain such that T 2 in ADC lesions may be informative of the extent of tissue damage, potentially aiding in stratification for treatment. We have developed a novel user-unbiased method of determining the changes in T 2 in ADC lesions as a function of clinical symptom duration based on voxel-wise referencing to a contralateral brain volume. The spherical reference method calculates the most probable pre-ischaemic T 2 on a voxel-wise basis, making use of features of the contralateral hemisphere presumed to be largely unaffected. We studied whether T 2 changes in the two main cerebral tissue types, i.e. in grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM), would differ in stroke. Thirty-eight acute stroke patients were accrued within 9 h of symptom onset and scanned at 3 T for 3D T 1-weighted, multi b-value diffusion and multi-echo spin echo MRI for tissue type segmentation, quantitative ADC and absolute T 2 images, respectively. T 2 changes measured by the spherical reference method were 1.94 ± 0.61, 1.50 ± 0.52 and 1.40 ± 0.54 ms h -1 in the whole, GM, and WM lesions, respectively. Thus, T 2 time courses were comparable between GM and WM independent of brain tissue type involved. We demonstrate that T 2 changes in ADC-delineated lesions can be quantified in the clinical setting in a user unbiased manner and that T 2 change correlated with symptom onset time, opening the possibility of using the approach as a tool to assess severity of tissue damage in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095016
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Cognitive Science
  • Brain Imaging


  • acute stroke
  • diffusion MRI
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • T relaxation time


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