Faizy TD, Kumar D, Broocks G, Thaler C, Flottmann F, Leischner H, Kutzner D, Hewera S, Dotzauer D, Stellmann JP, Reddy R, Fiehler J, Sedlacik J, Gellißen S.

Myelin Water Fraction (MWF) measurements derived from quantitative Myelin Water Imaging (MWI) may detect demyelinating changes of the cerebral white matter (WM) microstructure. Here, we investigated age-related alterations of the MWF in normal aging brains of healthy volunteers utilizing two fast and clinically feasible 3D gradient and spin echo (GRASE) MWI sequences with 3 mm and 5 mm isotropic voxel size. In 45 healthy subjects (age range: 18-79 years), distinct regions of interest (ROI) were defined in the cerebral WM including corticospinal tracts. For the 3 mm sequence, significant correlations of the mean MWF with age were found for most ROIs (r < -0.8 for WM ROIs; r = -0.55 for splenium of corpus callosum; r = -0.75 for genu of corpus callosum; p < 0.001 for all ROIs). Similar correlations with age were found for the ROIs of the 5 mm sequence. No significant correlations were found for the corticospinal tract and the occipital WM (p > 0.05). Mean MWF values obtained from the 3 mm and 5 mm sequences were strongly comparable. The applied 3D GRASE MWI sequences were found to be sensitive for age-dependent myelin changes of the cerebral WM microstructure. The reported MWF values might be of substantial use as reference for further investigations in patient studies.

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 9;8(1):14991.

Link to Pubmed