Generation of Color Composites for Enhanced Tissue Differentiation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain

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Currently, the diagnostic interpretation of magnetic resonance (MR) images requires that radiologists integrate specific tissue contrast information from several different images obtained at the same anatomic slice position. Each of these images has its own unique tissue contrast patterns which are based on the image acquisition parameters (pulse sequence) selected. The complex contrast patterns observable in these images reflect the inherent biophysical characteristics of the tissues and fluids present in the imaged section. In an effort to increase the diagnostic accuracy and efficiency of MR image interpretation, we have generated color composite images from quantitatively analyzed achromatic MR images of the brain, obtained while utilizing different pulse sequences. By using a DEC MicroVAX II computer with Interactive Digital Language (IDL), this color display method has been applied to images obtained from General Electric Signa and Siemens Magnatom imagers. For this study, our image sets included T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and proton density spin echo sequences as well as both high and low flip angle gradient echo sequences. Advantages of our color composite methods, in contrast to many other image processing techniques that have been described, are that minimal information is lost, computer misclassification of tissues is avoided, and the conspicuity of specific tissues is enhanced. Furthermore, with this method it is possible to produce composite images whose color renditions approach a natural anatomic tissue appearance. Availability of these color composites to radiologists may improve the efficiency and accuracy of the diagnostic interpretation of MR images.

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The American Journal of Anatomy





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This article was published in The American Journal of Anatomy, Volume 192, Issue 1, Pages 23-34.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aja.1001920104.

Copyright © 1991.

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