The use of T2 distribution to study tumor extent and heterogeneity in head and neck cancer

Peter Bloch, Robert E. Lenkinski, E. Loren Buhle, Robert Hendrix, Michael Bryer, W. Gillies McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Demarcation of the extent of malignant tissue is essential for planning a course of radiotherapy. MR images may provide additional information for delineating the target volume because of the large difference in the proton magnetic resonance relaxation times between normal and malignant tissues. In 13 patients with head and neck tumors the distribution of the proton spin-spin relaxation times, T2, at 1.5 Tesla were evaluated throughout the physician designated target volume and normal surrounding tissue. The T2 values within the tumor were always elevated compared with normal tissue, the highest values being in the nominal center of the tumor and decreasing toward the periphery. The regional distribution of T2 values within the tumor is a measure of the tissue heterogeneity within the tumor volume. In addition, the large differences in T2 relaxation times between normal and disease tissues were used in a computer algorithm to automatically demarcate the boundary of abnormal tissue in each axial MRI section. This potentially could significantly expedite the time required to identify the target volume on multiple sections and thus remove one of the major time constraints for 3D treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991


  • Extent of tumors
  • Head and neck tumors
  • MRI
  • T distribution
  • Tumor heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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