scope heading
Quantitative MRI of the Brain: Measuring Changes
Caused by Disease

Editor: Paul Tofts

John Wiley Publishing: ISBN 0470847212. Price £175

In reviewing this book I could find no better statement than that made by Bob Grossman in his foreword: 'Paul Tofts has succeeded brilliantly in capturing the essence of what needs to become the future of radiology in particular ,and medicine in general -quantitative measurements of disease'. The book is indeed a tour de force of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (or qMR) methodologies written, and reviewed, by many of the acknowledged leaders in their respective fields. The book is divided into five sections. The first comprising three chapters written by Paul Tofts himself address the concepts of qMR, the measurement process itself and the highly relevant subject of quality assurance. The second section focuses on the measurement of individual MR parameters through ten comprehensive chapters: Proton density; T1, T2, diffusion, magnetisation transfer, 'H spectroscopy metabolite concentrations, T1W dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) imaging, T2/T2*W DCE imaging, functional MRI and finally arterial spin labelling. Each chapter discusses the physical basis for the measurement methodology, offers practical advice on actually making the measurements, analysing the results and also provides a section on the clinical applications of the measurement. Each chapter is also extremely well referenced. The third section is a single chapter addressing the significance of MR parameters in multiple sclerosis; an area of particular relevance to qMR. The final section addresses issues in image analysis, in particular spatial registration, volume and atrophy, shape and texture and the use of histograms in measuring subtle diffuse disease. The final section comprises a single chapter by Paul Tofts where he muses on the future of qMRI.

Overall the book is well structured with a large number of clear and well-annotated figures, with colour plates being reproduced in a central section. Despite being a multi-author work there is a remarkable consistency of style and any repetition only reinforces the importance of certain aspects of qMR methodology. It is entirely possible to dip into individual chapters as required; however I would recommend a detailed reading of Section A. If there are any factual mistakes then I didn't find them, however Paul Tofts has registered the domain and promised to post updates and errata. It would be wonderful if that site could be developed into a live resource for discussion of all aspects of quantitation.

This book represents a major and unique achievement in bringing together a wealth of information hitherto distributed amongst the many MRI specific and general radiology journals as well as information gleaned by the authors from years of personal painstaking research investigating methods to obtain accurate and reproducible measurements of MR parameters. At £175 the price is typical of low-volume specialist books and is probably too expensive for individual purchase. However no institution with an interest in quantitative MRI should be without a copy or two as this is one MRI book that will enjoy daily use. Again, to quote Bob Grossman: 'This book will become a classic ...'.

Martin Graves

Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics
Addenbrooke's NHS Trust,

This layout is based on a scan of the original page in Scope, although some aspects have been slightly altered.