Video_4_High-Resolution 3D in vivo Brain Diffusion Tensor Imaging at Ultrahigh Fields: Following Maturation on Juvenile and Adult Mice.MOV (6.12 MB)
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Video_4_High-Resolution 3D in vivo Brain Diffusion Tensor Imaging at Ultrahigh Fields: Following Maturation on Juvenile and Adult Mice.MOV

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posted on 20.11.2020, 04:33 authored by Maxime Yon, Qingjia Bao, Odélia Jacqueline Chitrit, Rafael Neto Henriques, Noam Shemesh, Lucio Frydman

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a well-established technique for mapping brain microstructure and white matter tracts in vivo. High resolution DTI, however, is usually associated with low intrinsic sensitivity and therefore long acquisition times. By increasing sensitivity, high magnetic fields can alleviate these demands, yet high fields are also typically associated with significant susceptibility-induced image distortions. This study explores the potential arising from employing new pulse sequences and emerging hardware at ultrahigh fields, to overcome these limitations. To this end, a 15.2 T MRI instrument equipped with a cryocooled surface transceiver coil was employed, and DTI experiments were compared between SPatiotemporal ENcoding (SPEN), a technique that tolerates well susceptibility-induced image distortions, and double-sampled Spin-Echo Echo-Planar Imaging (SE-EPI) methods. Following optimization, SE-EPI afforded whole brain DTI maps at 135 μm isotropic resolution that possessed higher signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) than SPEN counterparts. SPEN, however, was a better alternative to SE-EPI when focusing on challenging regions of the mouse brain –including the olfactory bulb and the cerebellum. In these instances, the higher robustness of fully refocused SPEN acquisitions coupled to its built-in zooming abilities, provided in vivo DTI maps with 75 μm nominal isotropic spatial resolution. These DTI maps, and in particular the mean diffusion direction (MDD) details, exhibited variations that matched very well the anatomical features known from histological brain Atlases. Using these capabilities, the development of the olfactory bulb (OB) in live mice was followed from week 1 post-partum, until adulthood. The diffusivity of this organ showed a systematic decrease in its overall isotropic value and increase in its fractional anisotropy with age; this maturation was observed for all regions used in the OB's segmentation but was most evident for the lobules' centers, in particular for the granular cell layer. The complexity of the OB neuronal connections also increased during maturation, as evidenced by the growth in directionalities arising in the mean diffusivity direction maps.

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