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Preliminary experience with visualization of intracortical fibers by focused high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging


Jaermann, T; De Zanche, N; Staempfli, P; Pruessmann, K P; Valavanis, A; Boesiger, P; Kollias, S S (2008). Preliminary experience with visualization of intracortical fibers by focused high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 29(1):146-150.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The inherent low anisotropy of gray matter and the lack of adequate imaging sensitivity and resolution has, so far, impeded depiction of axonal fibers to their intracortical origin or termination. We tested the hypothesis that an experimental approach with high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides anisotropic data for fiber tractography with sufficient sensitivity to visualize in vivo the fine distribution of white matter bundles at the intracortical level. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted phantom measurements of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and obtained diffusion tensor maps of the occipital lobe in 6 healthy volunteers using a dedicated miniature phased array detector at 3T. We reconstructed virtual fibers using a standard tracking algorithm. RESULTS: The coil array provided a SNR of 8.0 times higher at the head surface compared with a standard quadrature whole head coil. Diffusion tensor maps could be obtained with an in-plane resolution of 0.58 x 0.58 mm(2). The axonal trajectories reconstructed from the diffusion data penetrate into the cortical ribbon perpendicular to the pial surface. This is the expected pattern for the terminations of thalamocortical afferent fibers to the middle layers of the occipital cortex and is consistent with the known microstructural organization of the mammalian cerebral cortex. CONCLUSION: High-resolution DTI reveals intracortical anisotropy with a distinct parallel geometrical order, perpendicular to the pial surface, consistent with structures that may be identified as the terminal afferents in cortical gray matter.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The inherent low anisotropy of gray matter and the lack of adequate imaging sensitivity and resolution has, so far, impeded depiction of axonal fibers to their intracortical origin or termination. We tested the hypothesis that an experimental approach with high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides anisotropic data for fiber tractography with sufficient sensitivity to visualize in vivo the fine distribution of white matter bundles at the intracortical level. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted phantom measurements of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and obtained diffusion tensor maps of the occipital lobe in 6 healthy volunteers using a dedicated miniature phased array detector at 3T. We reconstructed virtual fibers using a standard tracking algorithm. RESULTS: The coil array provided a SNR of 8.0 times higher at the head surface compared with a standard quadrature whole head coil. Diffusion tensor maps could be obtained with an in-plane resolution of 0.58 x 0.58 mm(2). The axonal trajectories reconstructed from the diffusion data penetrate into the cortical ribbon perpendicular to the pial surface. This is the expected pattern for the terminations of thalamocortical afferent fibers to the middle layers of the occipital cortex and is consistent with the known microstructural organization of the mammalian cerebral cortex. CONCLUSION: High-resolution DTI reveals intracortical anisotropy with a distinct parallel geometrical order, perpendicular to the pial surface, consistent with structures that may be identified as the terminal afferents in cortical gray matter.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:04 Dec 2008 08:35
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:36
Publisher:American Society of Neuroradiology
ISSN:0195-6108
Publisher DOI:10.3174/ajnr.A0742
PubMed ID:17947372
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-6154

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