Triethyl tin(TET)-induced cerebral oedema has been studied in cats by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the findings correlated with the histology and fine structure of the cerebrum following perfusion-fixation. MRI is a sensitive technique for detecting cerebral oedema, and the distribution and severity of the changes correlate closely with the morphological abnormalities. The relaxation times, T1 and T2 increase progressively as the oedema develops, and the proportional increase in T2 is approximately twice that in T1. Analysis of the magnetisation decay curves reveals slowly-relaxing and rapidly-relaxing components which probably correspond to oedema fluid and intracellular water respectively. The image appearances taken in conjunction with relaxation data provide a basis for determining the nature of the oedema in vivo.
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