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Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
  • DTI
  • Fiber tracking
  • Distortion correction
  • Optic nerve
  • Non-human primate
  • Large animals
  • Aging
  • WHITE-MATTER INTEGRITY
  • CEREBRAL-BLOOD-FLOW
  • AGE-RELATED DECLINE
  • ECHO-PLANAR IMAGES
  • NONHUMAN-PRIMATES
  • RHESUS-MONKEY
  • RADIAL DIFFUSIVITY
  • COGNITIVE DECLINE
  • IMAGING DETECTS
  • TENSOR

In-vivo diffusion MRI protocol optimization for the chimpanzee brain and examination of aging effects on the primate optic nerve at 3T

Tools:

Journal Title:

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING

Volume:

Volume 77, Number

Publisher:

, Pages 194-203

Type of Work:

Article

Abstract:

Background: Diffusion MRI (dMRI) data acquisition protocols are well-established on modern high-field clinical scanners for human studies. However, these protocols are not suitable for the chimpanzee (or other large-brained mammals) because of its substantial difference in head geometry and brain volume compared with humans. Therefore, an optimal dMRI data acquisition protocol dedicated to chimpanzee neuroimaging is needed. Methods: A multi-shot (4 segments) double spin-echo echo-planar imaging (MS-EPI) sequence and a single-shot double spin-echo EPI (SS-EPI) sequence were optimized separately for in vivo dMRI data acquisition of chimpanzees using a clinical 3T scanner. Correction for severe susceptibility-induced image distortion and signal drop-off of the chimpanzee brain was performed and evaluated using FSL software. DTI indices in different brain regions and probabilistic tractography were compared. A separate DTI data set from n=34 chimpanzees (13 to 56 years old) was collected using the optimal protocol. Age-related changes in diffusivity indices of optic nerve fibers were evaluated. Results: The SS-EPI sequence acquired dMRI data of the chimpanzee brain with approximately doubled the SNR as the MS-EPI sequence given the same scan time. The quality of white matter fiber tracking from the SS-EPI data was much higher than that from MS-EPI data. However, quantitative analysis of DTI indices showed no difference in most ROIs between the SS-EPI and MS-EPI sequences. The progressive evolution of diffusivity indices of optic nerves indicated mild changes in fiber bundles of chimpanzees aged 40 years and above. Conclusion: The single-shot EPI-based acquisition protocol provided better image quality of dMRI for chimpanzee brains and is recommended for in vivo dMRI study or clinical diagnosis of chimpanzees (or other large animals) using a clinical scanner. Also, the tendency of FA decrease or diffusivity increase in the optic nerve of aged chimpanzees was seen but did not show significant age-related changes, suggesting aging may have less impact on optic nerve fiber integrity of chimpanzees, in contrast to previous results for both macaque monkeys and humans.
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