Ravi Gottumukkala1, Tsen-Hsuan Lin1, 2, Yong Wang1, Keun-Young Kim3, Won-Kyu Ju4, Sheng-Kwei Song1
1Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States; 2Department of Chemistry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States; 3National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research and Department of Neuroscience, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States; 4Hamilton Glaucoma Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States
A novel approach, diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI), was used to noninvasively detect increased optic nerve cellularity as well as axon and myelin injury in the DBA/2J mouse model of glaucoma. DBSI-derived estimations of cellularity correlated with DAPI counts seen histologically (r = 0.86, p < 0.001). Axial and radial diffusivity changes in the optic nerves of DBA/2J mice were suggestive of axon and myelin injury, respectively. As the role of glaucomatous optic nerve gliosis is further elucidated, noninvasive quantification of optic nerve cellularity using DBSI could have clinical utility in diagnosis and prediction of therapeutic responses in glaucoma patients.