A dual echo magnetic resonance imaging system produces two registered images of a patient in which the images have different contrast relationships between different tissue types. A two dimensional feature space histogram of the two images is produced and a separate centroid is located in the feature space histogram for each one of a pair of tissue types. A Cartesian coordinate system is defined in the feature space so that one axis of the system passes through the two centroids. Vector decomposition is employed to project each image element data point in the feature space onto a point on the one axis. The fractional quantity of each tissue type present in the image element is determined based upon the Euclidean distances from that axis point to the respective centroids. The fractional quantity is calculated for each element in the original images to form a pair of tissue images. The elements of a tissue image are processed to measure the amount of that tissue type in the imaged portion of the patient.