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Abstract #0791

The impact of gradient strength on in vivo diffusion MRI estimates of axon diameter

Susie Y. Huang 1 , Aapo Nummenmaa 1 , Thomas Witzel 1 , Tanguy Duval 2 , Julien Cohen-Adad 2 , Lawrence L. Wald 1,3 , and Jennifer A. McNab 4

1 Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 2 Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada, 3 Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, 4 Richard M. Lucas Center for Imaging, Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States

Translating diffusion MRI methods for axon diameter mapping to clinical applications requires higher maximum gradient strengths (Gmax) than are currently available on commercial scanners. Using a dedicated high-gradient 3T MRI scanner with Gmax=300mT/m, we systematically study the effect of gradient strength on in vivo axon diameter estimates in the human corpus callosum. We find that an optimal q-space sampling scheme should incorporate the highest possible gradient strengths and draw from a wide range of gradient strengths and diffusion times. The improvement in axon diameter estimates will inform protocol development and encourage the adoption of higher gradient systems for widespread use.

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