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Abstract #1781

The preservation state of ethanol-fixated historic brain specimens revealed by quantitative MRI

Gunther Helms 1 , Walter J Schulz-Schaeffer 2 , and Renate Schweizer 3

1 Cognitive Neurology, Gttingen University Medical Center, Gttingen, Germany, 2 Neuropathology, Gttingen University Medical Center, Gttingen, Germany, 3 Biomedizinische NMR ForschungsGmbH, Max-Planck-Institut fr Biophysikalische Chemie, Gttingen, Germany

Four male brains preserved in ethanol for 150 years were studied at 3T by FLASH-based multi-parametric mapping at 0.6mm resolution for digital asservation. These were compared to recent specimens; an ethanol-fixated bovine brain and a formalin-fixated brain. T1-relaxation in cortex was much faster (R1=5-7 1/s) than after formalin fixation and did not show a "formalin rim". White matter exhibited sub-millimeter tubular cavities (not seen in bovine brain) leading to slower T1 relaxation than in cortex. Magnetization transfer and proton density contrast were strongly reduced. Findings are compatible with rapid extraction of cholesterol and water followed by slow macroscopic degeneration.

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