Purpose To explore gender, age-related, and regional differences of magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) of brain cortical and subcortical gray matter (GM). Materials and Methods In all, 102 healthy subjects (51 women and 51 men; range 25-84 years) were examined with 3-mm thick MT images. We assessed MTR in automatically segmented GM structures including frontal, parietal-insular, temporal, and occipital cortex, caudate, pallidus and putamen, and cerebellar cortex. A general linear model analysis was conducted to ascertain the linear and quadratic relationship among the MTR and gender, age, and anatomical structure. Results The effect of gender was borderline (P = 0.07) in all GM structures (with higher MTR values in men), whereas age showed a significant linear as well as quadratic effect in all cortical and subcortical GM structures (P ≤ 0.001). Quadratic age-related decrease in MTR began at about 40 years of age. Mean and standard deviation (SD) of MTR had the following decreasing order: thalamus (58.3 + 0.8), pallidus (56.8 ± 1.3), caudate (55.5 ± 1.6) and putamen (54.6 ± 1.1); temporal (56.8 ± 0.9), parietal-insular (56.8 ± 1.1), frontal (56.5 ± 1.1), occipital (55.4 ± 1.0) and cerebellar (53.2 ± 1.0) cortex. In post-hoc testing, all regional pairwise differences were statistically significant except pallidus vs. temporal or parietal-insular cortex, caudate vs. occipital cortex, frontal vs. parietal-insular or temporal cortex. Conclusion MTR of the cortical and subcortical brain GM structures decreases quadratically after midlife and shows significant regional differences.
- automatic segmentation
- gray matter
- magnetization transfer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging