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Abstract #0099

In vivo estimation of axon diameter in the human spinal cord using 300 mT/m gradients

Tanguy Duval 1 , Jennifer A. McNab 2 , Kawin Setsompop 3 , Thomas Witzel 3 , Torben Schneider 4 , Susie Yi Huang 2 , Boris Keil 3 , Eric Klawiter 3 , Lawrence L. Wald 3 , and Julien Cohen-Adad 1

1 Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2 Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States, 3 A.A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States, 4 NMR Research Unit, Department of Neuroinflammation, Queen Square MS Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, London, United Kingdom

Composite hindered and restricted model of diffusion was shown to retrieve white matter micro-structural information, such as axon diameter. Using a dedicated human gradient system that can achieve 300 mT/m, we produced the first in vivo mapping of axon diameter in the human spinal cord. State-of-the-art methods were deployed to overcome the numerous artifacts associated with spinal cord imaging. Maps of axon diameter were generated for each patient, and diffeomorphic registration on a white-matter template yielded an average atlas of axon diameter. Qualitative comparison with histological data on a rat suggests consistent trends of axon diameter across specific spinal pathways.

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