Seth Aaron Smith1,2, Zoe R. Williams3, Daniel S. Reich2,4, Jonathan AD Farrell1,2, Sheena K. Farrell4, John N. Ratchford4, Peter CM van Zijl1,2, Neil R. Miller3, Peter A. Calabresi4
1F.M. Kirby Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2Russell H. Morgan Dept. of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; 4Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
The optic nerve (ON), a small WM structure, conveys visual information to the brain and may undergo inflammatory changes in diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Magnetization transfer (MT) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can detect brain and spinal cord pathology but have not been combined to study the ON in vivo because of pragmatic limitations. We show that combined, ON-dedicated DTI and MT imaging can be performed quickly, resolve the ON, and correlate with optical coherence tomography. This approach may be used to follow disease progression with the goal of detecting ON damage in multiple sclerosis.