Quantitative rotating frame relaxometry methods in MRI

Irtiza Ali Gilani*, Raimo Sepponen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Macromolecular degeneration and biochemical changes in tissue can be quantified using rotating frame relaxometry in MRI. It has been shown in several studies that the rotating frame longitudinal relaxation rate constant (R) and the rotating frame transverse relaxation rate constant (R) are sensitive biomarkers of phenomena at the cellular level. In this comprehensive review, existing MRI methods for probing the biophysical mechanisms that affect the rotating frame relaxation rates of the tissue (i.e. R and R) are presented. Long acquisition times and high radiofrequency (RF) energy deposition into tissue during the process of spin-locking in rotating frame relaxometry are the major barriers to the establishment of these relaxation contrasts at high magnetic fields. Therefore, clinical applications of R and R MRI using on- or off-resonance RF excitation methods remain challenging. Accordingly, this review describes the theoretical and experimental approaches to the design of hard RF pulse cluster- and adiabatic RF pulse-based excitation schemes for accurate and precise measurements of R and R. The merits and drawbacks of different MRI acquisition strategies for quantitative relaxation rate measurement in the rotating frame regime are reviewed. In addition, this review summarizes current clinical applications of rotating frame MRI sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841–861
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adiabatic pulses for T and T relaxation
  • Endogenous contrast methods
  • MRI sequence design
  • Quantitative relaxometry in MRI
  • Rotating frame relaxation rate mapping
  • Spin-lock MRI
  • T MRI

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