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High‐resolution MRI of mummified tissues using advanced short‐T2 methodology and hardware
- Journal Article
Purpose Evolutionary medicine aims to study disease development from a long-term perspective, and through the analysis of mummified tissue, timescales of several thousand years are unlocked. Due to the status of mummies as ancient relics, noninvasive techniques are preferable, and, currently, CT imaging is the most widespread method. However, CT images lack soft-tissue contrast, making complementary MRI data desirable. Unfortunately, the dehydrated nature and short T(2)times of mummified tissues render them practically invisible to standard MRI techniques. Specialized short-T(2)approaches have therefore been used, but currently suffer severe resolution limitations. The purpose of the present study is to improve resolution in MRI of mummified tissues. Methods The zero-TE-based hybrid filling technique, together with a high-performance magnetic field gradient, was used to image three ancient Egyptian mummified human body parts: a hand, a foot, and a head. A similar pairing has already been shown to increase resolution and image quality in MRI of short-T(2)tissues. Results MRI images of yet unparalleled image quality were obtained for all samples, reaching isotropic resolutions of 0.6 mm and SNR values above 100. The same general features as present in CT images were depicted but with different contrast, particularly for regions containing embalming substances. Conclusion Mummy MRI is a potentially valuable tool for (paleo)pathological studies, as well as for investigations into ancient mummification processes. The results presented here show sufficient improvement in the depiction of mummified tissues to clear new paths for the exploration of this field. Show more
Journal / seriesMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Subjectancient Egyptian mummy; high resolution; high-performance gradient; HYFI; short T2; ZTE
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