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A review of structural magnetic resonance neuroimaging
  1. M Symms1,
  2. H R Jäger2,
  3. K Schmierer3,
  4. T A Yousry2
  1. 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, London, UK
  2. 2Lysholm Department of Neuroradiology, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Neuroinflammation, NMR Research Unit, Institute of Neurology, London, UK; and Klinik für Neurologie, Chasité, Humbeldt Universitãt zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
 Prof T A Yousry
 Lysholm Department of Neuroradiology, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N3BG, UK;


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often divided into structural MRI and functional MRI (fMRI). The former is a widely used imaging technique in research as well as in clinical practice. This review describes the more important developments in structural MRI in recent years, including high resolution imaging, T2 relaxation measurement, T2*-weighted imaging, T1 relaxation measurement, magnetisation transfer imaging, and diffusion imaging. The principles underlying these techniques, as well as their use in research and in clinical practice, will be discussed.

  • ADC, apparent diffusion coefficient
  • AD, Alzheimer’s disease
  • CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
  • CT, computed tomography
  • DTI, diffusion tensor imaging
  • DWI, diffusion-weighted imaging
  • FLAIR, fluid attenuated inversion recovery
  • fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Gd, gadolinium
  • GRE, gradient echo
  • MD, mean diffusivity
  • MS, multiple sclerosis
  • MTI, magnetisation transfer imaging
  • MTR, magnetisation transfer ratio
  • NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance
  • PP/SPMS, primary progressive/secondary progressive MS
  • RF, radiofrequency
  • RRMS, relapsing remitting MS
  • SNR, signal to noise ratio
  • magnetic resonance neuroimaging
  • brain

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  • Competing interests: none declared