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Abstract #3336

Diffusion Tensor Imaging Detects Axonal Injury and Demyelination in the Spinal Cord and Brain of a Murine Model of Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy.

Joong Hee Kim1, Alex A. Hofling1, Mark S. Sands2, Sheng-Kwei Song1

1Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA; 2Divisions of Hematology and Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA

The spinal cord of Twitcher mice, an animal model of Globoid cell leukodystrophy, was examined by DTI. Compared to control Twitcher mice displayed a statistically significant increase in radial diffusivity and decrease in axial diffusivity at spinal cord white matter. These changes correlate with histopathological evidence of demyelination and axonal damage, respectively in the Twitcher spinal cord. Fractional anisotropy, a nonspecific but rotationally invariant indicator of white matter disease, was significantly reduced throughout the spinal cord white matter of Twitcher mice relative to normal controls. These results suggest DTI as noninvasive technique that is sensitive to white matter disease processes.