Springer Verlag, European Radiology
OBJECTIVES: To assess whether volumetric cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) MRI can be used as a surrogate for brain atrophy assessment and to evaluate how the T2 of the CSF relates to brain atrophy. METHODS: Twenty-eight subjects [mean age 64 (sd 2) years] were included; T1-weighted and CSF MRI were performed. The first echo data of the CSF MRI sequence was used to obtain intracranial volume, CSF partial volume was measured voxel-wise to obtain CSF volume (VCSF) and the T2 of CSF (T2,CSF) was calculated. The correlation between VCSF/T2,CSF and brain atrophy scores [global cortical atrophy (GCA) and medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA)] was evaluated. RESULTS: Relative total, peripheral subarachnoidal, and ventricular VCSF increased significantly with increased scores on the GCA and MTA (R = 0.83, 0.78 and 0.78 and R = 0.72, 0.62 and 0.86). Total, peripheral subarachnoidal, and ventricular T2 of the CSF increased significantly with higher scores on the GCA and MTA (R = 0.72, 0.70 and 0.49 and R = 0.60, 0.57 and 0.41). CONCLUSION: A fast, fully automated CSF MRI volumetric sequence is an alternative for qualitative atrophy scales. The T2 of the CSF is related to brain atrophy and could thus be a marker of neurodegenerative disease. KEY POINTS: • A 1:11 min CSF MRI volumetric sequence can evaluate brain atrophy. • CSF MRI provides accurate atrophy assessment without partial volume effects. • CSF MRI data can be processed quickly without user interaction. • The measured T 2 of the CSF is related to brain atrophy.