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Mitglied der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Diffusion MRI in the Neurosciences N. Jon Shah Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine – 4 Research Centre Juelich 52425 Juelich GERMANY

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Mitglied der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft DTI

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18 May 2015Slide 3Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Outline Introduction Qualitative issues of diffusion. Spins diffusing under a background gradient. Bipolar gradient-echo sequence. Stejkal-Tanner spin-echo sequence. Approaches to the problem Microscopic approach. Quantum mechanical treatment. The diffusion propagator. Solution for the Stejskal-Tanner experiment. Macroscopic approach. The Bloch-Torrey equation. Solution for the bipolar gradient-echo. Solution for the Stejkal Tanner equation. Diffusion in biological tissue. Hindered diffusion. The ADC approach. Signal attenuation. Anisotropic systems. The DTI approach. Invariant parameters. Fractional anisotropy (FA), Mean Diffusivity (MD), etc. Fibre tracking.

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18 May 2015Slide 4Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine 1827 – Brown describes what is now known as “Brownian Motion”. History … Definition: diffusion is the thermal motion of all particles at temperatures above the absolute zero in a liquid or gas. The rate of this movement is a function of temperature, viscosity of the fluid and the size (mass) of the particles. 1905 – Einstein describes the statistical mechanics of diffusion. Mean Square Displacement at the time t (averaged over the particle ensemble). Can be measure with MRI. Diffusion Coefficient. Estimated from MRI signal attenuation. x y

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18 May 2015Slide 5Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Classical representation of NMR diffusion measurements Transverse Magnetization Gradient Echo The constant magnetic field is superimposed by an inhomogeneous field 90° RF Gradient g δ δ Δ -g Assuming no field inhomogeneities more than the caused by the gradient

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18 May 2015Slide 6Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine RF Hahn spin-echo Gradient Transverse Magnetization 90° 180° g δ δ Δ τ 2τ2τ

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18 May 2015Slide 7Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Finally where: Assuming, a gradient in the z-direction and using the gaussian propagator, So one can estimate D by measuring changes in the signal while varying the time parameters or the gradient strength. the amplitude of the signal results x y

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18 May 2015Slide 8Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine A macroscopic approach: The Bloch-Torrey equation. H.C. Torrey showed in 1956 how the Bloch equations would change for an ensemble of spins diffusing in the presence of a magnetic field gradient. The Bloch-Torrey equation for the evolution of the distribution of magnetization m in the presence of a magnetic field B z is, Diffusion term Larmor precession Transversal relaxation Longitudinal relaxation

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18 May 2015Slide 9Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine In the absence of diffusion, m + is exponentially damped with relaxation time T 2. One gets the next differential equation Proposing the next solution (going to the rotating frame) Solution for an infinite system. Defining m + as the circular component of the transverse spatial magnetization distribution (Initial condition)

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18 May 2015Slide 10Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Assuming D = constant, Relative signal amplitude. Gradient The general solution is

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18 May 2015Slide 11Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Solution for a Gradient Echo bipolar pulse. 90° Bipolar pulse RF τ 2τ2τ g -g Solution for the Stejkal-Tanner pulse sequence. 90° RF 180° Gradient 2τ2τ g δ δ τ

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18 May 2015Slide 12Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Diffusion in biological tissue. Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) approach. ADC is a phenomenological parameter that incorporates integrative information on the tissue microstructure. It is insensitive to microstructure details. It is a very important biomarker for identifying pathologies. Bundles of axons in the corpus callosum in the human brain. Then one needs to measure S 0, the non-diffusion- weighted value (no gradients), and the signal for at least a non-zero b-value. The usual range for the b-values is (0-1000) s/mm 2. For grater b-values, the attenuation is not longer monoexponential. For a given gradient direction, the signal attenuation at the echo time can be written as

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18 May 2015Slide 13Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Typical diffusion signal attenuations. Valid range for the ADC approach. Background noise. Diffusion is restricted, i.e. the initial slope is smaller than in the free-diffusion case. Free water diffusion. The ADC is given by the slope of the signal attenuation in a logarithmic scale. ADC = 2.3*10 -3 mm 2 /s for free water at 24°C.

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18 May 2015Slide 14Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine 600 Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) in the human brain.

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18 May 2015Slide 15Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine DWI signal acquisition. Gradient along z-direction case. EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 16Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 17Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 18Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine An application of DWI. Early detection of stroke. http://www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/483910a4b6f14 DWIs permit earlier detection of stroke than other methods such as T2WI (T2 weighted image).

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18 May 2015Slide 19Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Diffusion Anisotropy. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) approach. There are some cases in which diffusion depends on the spatial direction along which the gradient is applied.

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18 May 2015Slide 20Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine The presence of elongated cells, such as axons and dendrites, affects the trajectory of diffusion molecules, making diffusion along the main directions less obstructed than in a direction perpendicular to the main axes. According to Einstein’s relation, the mean square displacement in a given direction “ i ”, and a diffusion time t d, will be:

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18 May 2015Slide 21Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Formally, anisotropic diffusion is characterized by a diffusion tensor D ij and the signal attenuation can be written as: Signal attenuation. b-matrix (matrix of b-values). 1 2 3 1 2 3 General coordinate frame. Principal axes frame. Since D is a second-order symmetric positive definite tensor, one needs to know the ADC for at least 6 non-collinear directions.

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18 May 2015Slide 22Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine For N = 6, the solution is exact. The number of gradient directions available for clinical applications ranges from 6 up to 256. From the experiment to the diffusion tensor. One has to measure a non-weighted signal value S 0 (b = 0 s/mm 2 ) and N diffusion-weighted signals S k (k = 1..N ≥ 6). Then, one has to solve the next system of equations For N ≥ 6, the system is overdetermined: tensor estimation is more robust 6 directions12 directions30 directions

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18 May 2015Slide 23Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 24Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 25Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 26Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine EPI Readout

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18 May 2015Slide 27Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Tensor invariants. These parameters are proposed to account for physical information regardless the choice of the frame of reference. Diagonalization eigenvalues. eigenvectors. Mean Diffusivity Fractional Anisotropy 0 ≥ FA ≥ 1 Isotropic system Diffusion allowed in only one direction.

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18 May 2015Slide 28Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Colour-encoded FA Eigenvector associated to the main eigenvalue, modulated by FA MDFAColour-encoded FA red = left-right. green = anterior-posterior. blue = top-bottom.

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18 May 2015Slide 29Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Summary so far …

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18 May 2015Slide 30Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Fibre Tracking

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18 May 2015Slide 31Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Assuming that the largest principal axis of the diffusion tensor aligns with the predominant fibre orientation. Construct a vector field In-plane Through-plane

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18 May 2015Slide 32Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Another vector field map

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18 May 2015Slide 33Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Connect voxels on the basis of discrete vector fields (local principal eigenvector orientation) FA threshold (0.25-0.35). Helps to exclude gray matter and to segment white matter tracts that are separated by gray matter. Discrete vector field

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18 May 2015Slide 34Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Continuous vector field

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18 May 2015Slide 35Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Fibre tracking by seeding a region of region of interest in the corpus callosum with increasing fibre densities. http://www.bioimagesuite.org/doc/node24.html#SECTION06310000000000000000 Choose to seed the tracking using a single point, a region of interest or a volume. Corpus callosum tracking

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18 May 2015Slide 36Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Pretty Pictures… Isotropic resolution diffusion tensor imaging with whole brain acquisition in a clinically acceptable time –D.K. Jones, S.C.R. Williams, D. Gasston, M.A. Horsfield, A. Simmons, R. Howard –Human Brain Mapping 15, 216-230 (2002)

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18 May 2015Slide 37Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Pretty Pictures…

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18 May 2015Slide 38Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Limits of DTI. The problem of multiple fibres populations. An inherent problem of DTI is the impossibility to recognize crossing fibres.

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18 May 2015Slide 39Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine Suggested notes H. C. Torrey, “Bloch Equations with Diffusion Terms”, Physical Review, vol. 104, 563 (1956). A. Abragam, “Principles of Nuclear Magnetism”. Oxford Univ. Press. London and New York (1961). J. Kärger, H. Pfeifer and W. Heink, ”Principles and Application of Self-Diffusion Measurements by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance”. Advances in Magnetic Resonance, vol. 12 (1988). D. A. Yablonskiy and A. L. Sukstanskii, “Theoretical models of the diffusion weighted MR signal”. NMR in Biomedicine, vol. 23, 661 (2010).

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