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A First Cut at Interpreting Brain MRI Signal Intensities: What's White, What's Black, and What's Gray

Parmar, Hemant MD; Trobe, Jonathan D MD

Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology: March 2010 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - pp 91-93
doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e3181c95897

We propose that a simple but reasonable initial interpretation of brain and spinal cord MRI can be made by considering whether signal intensity is white or black or gray on precontrast T1-weighted and T2-weighted pulse sequences. We have formulated this task as a 2 × 2 table.

Departments of Radiology (Neuroradiology) (HP) and Neurology (JDT) and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (JDT), Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Address correspondence to Jonathan D. Trobe, MD, Kellogg Eye Center, 1000 Wall Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; E-mail:

© 2010 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society