Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) aims to quantify tissue parameters by eliminating instrumental bias. We describe qMRI theory, simulations, and software designed to estimate proton density (PD), the apparent local concentration of water protons in the living human brain. First, we show that, in the absence of noise, multichannel coil data contain enough information to separate PD and coil sensitivity, a limiting instrumental bias. Second, we show that, in the presence of noise, regularization by a constraint on the relationship between T1 and PD produces accurate coil sensitivity and PD maps. The ability to measure PD quantitatively has applications in the analysis of in-vivo human brain tissue and enables multisite comparisons between individuals and across instruments.
Evaluating quantitative proton-density-mapping methods
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