Water proton MR properties of human blood at 1.5 Tesla: Magnetic susceptibility, T1, T2*, T2, and non-Lorentzian signal behavior

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Accurate knowledge of the magnetic properties of human blood is required for the precise modeling of functional and vascular flow-related MRI. Herein are reported determinations of the relaxation parameters of blood, employing in vitro samples that are well representative of human blood in situ. The envelope of the blood 1H2O free-induction decay signal magnitude during the first 100 msec following a spin echo at time TE is well-described empirically by an expression of the form, S(t) = So · exp{-R2* · (t - TE) - AR* · (t - TE)2}. The relaxation parameters AR* and R2* increase as a function of the square of the susceptibility difference between red blood cell and plasma and depend on the spin-echo time. The Gaussian component, AR*, should be recognized in accurate modeling of MRI phenomena that depend upon the magnetic state of blood. The magnetic susceptibility difference between fully deoxygenated and fully oxygenated red blood cells at 37°C is 0.27 ppm, as determined independently by MR and superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) measurements. This value agrees well with the 1936 report of Pauling and Coryell (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1936;22:210-216), but is substantially larger than that frequently used in MRI literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-542
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 12 2001


  • BOLD effect
  • Blood
  • Functional MRI
  • Magnetic susceptibility
  • Relaxation

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