Towards unconstrained compartment modeling in white matter using diffusion-relaxation MRI with tensor-valued diffusion encoding

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Purpose: To optimize diffusion-relaxation MRI with tensor-valued diffusion encoding for precise estimation of compartment-specific fractions, diffusivities, and T2 values within a two-compartment model of white matter, and to explore the approach in vivo. Methods: Sampling protocols featuring different b-values (b), b-tensor shapes (bΔ), and echo times (TE) were optimized using Cramér-Rao lower bounds (CRLB). Whole-brain data were acquired in children, adults, and elderly with white matter lesions. Compartment fractions, diffusivities, and T2 values were estimated in a model featuring two microstructural compartments represented by a “stick” and a “zeppelin.”. Results: Precise parameter estimates were enabled by sampling protocols featuring seven or more “shells” with unique b/bΔ/TE-combinations. Acquisition times were approximately 15 minutes. In white matter of adults, the “stick” compartment had a fraction of approximately 0.5 and, compared with the “zeppelin” compartment, featured lower isotropic diffusivities (0.6 vs. 1.3 μm2/ms) but higher T2 values (85 vs. 65 ms). Children featured lower “stick” fractions (0.4). White matter lesions exhibited high “zeppelin” isotropic diffusivities (1.7 μm2/ms) and T2 values (150 ms). Conclusions: Diffusion-relaxation MRI with tensor-valued diffusion encoding expands the set of microstructure parameters that can be precisely estimated and therefore increases their specificity to biological quantities.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Radiologi och bildbehandling
  • Medicinsk laboratorie- och mätteknik


TidskriftMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 mar 6
Peer review utfördJa