Tissue border enhancement by inversion recovery MRI at 7.0 Tesla

Mauro Costagli, Douglas A C Kelley, Mark R. Symms, Laura Biagi, Riccardo Stara, Eleonora Maggioni, Gianluigi Tiberi, Carmen Barba, Renzo Guerrini, Mirco Cosottini, Michela Tosetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This contribution presents a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisition technique named Tissue Border Enhancement (TBE), whose purpose is to produce images with enhanced visualization of borders between two tissues of interest without any post-processing. Methods: The technique is based on an inversion recovery sequence that employs an appropriate inversion time to produce images where the interface between two tissues of interest is hypo-intense; therefore, tissue borders are clearly represented by dark lines. This effect is achieved by setting imaging parameters such that two neighboring tissues of interest have magnetization with equal magnitude but opposite sign; therefore, the voxels containing a mixture of each tissue (that is, the tissue interface) possess minimal net signal. The technique was implemented on a 7.0 T MRI system. Results: This approach can assist the definition of tissue borders, such as that between cortical gray matter and white matter; therefore, it could facilitate segmentation procedures, which are often challenging on ultra-high-field systems due to inhomogeneous radiofrequency distribution. TBE allows delineating the contours of structural abnormalities, and its capabilities were demonstrated with patients with focal cortical dysplasia, gray matter heterotopia, and polymicrogyria. Conclusion: This technique provides a new type of image contrast and has several possible applications in basic neuroscience, neurogenetic research, and clinical practice, as it could improve the detection power of MRI in the characterization of cortical malformations, enhance the contour of small anatomical structures of interest, and facilitate cortical segmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Anatomical imaging
  • Cortical malformations
  • Inversion recovery
  • Tissue interface
  • Ultra-high-field MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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