Magnetization Transfer Using Inversion Recovery (20100117)

Technology No. 20100117
IP Status: Issued US Patent; Application #: 13/641,440

Magnetization Transfer Imaging Can Lower Specific Absorption Rate

An improved MRI pulse sequence and post processing technique have been developed that dramatically improve MT imaging while improving safety by reducing specific absorption rate (SAR), which is a measure of tissue heating. Clinical usage of magnetization transfer (MT) imaging with MRI scanners has been limited due to radio frequency (RF) heating of the subject, which ultimately limits the sensitivity and specificity of the technique for diagnosis. 

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Inversion Recovery Implemented with Software

Inversion recovery combines a conventional pulse with an inversion pulse, which flips the orientation of the magnetization by 180 degrees. By including the “negative data”, a larger dynamic range is available to accurately calculate the magnetization transfer exchange rate constant with reduced deposition of RF energy in the subject. The MT imaging MRI pulse sequence and post processing is implemented in software on an MRI scanner.

Improves Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

In particular, this technology greatly enhances the ability to identify myelin in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression/treatment in demyelinating neuropathies, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). It is expected that this will enable MT imaging MRI scans to become common clinical practice.


  • Enhanced ability to image demyelination in the brain for diagnosis of certain neuropathies such as multiple sclerosis
  • Improved imaging of other white matter, such as cartilage
  • Larger dynamic range for greater sensitivity and specificity of MT imaging
  • Better resolution and image quality compared to conventional MT imaging MRI
  • Reduced RF power deposition for improved SAR
  • Applicable to all clinical MRI scanners, e.g. 3T, 1.5T, and open-bore low-field scanners

Michael Garwood, PhD
Professor, Department of Radiology, Center for Magnetic Research
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