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Abstract #4231

Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging of the Cervical Spinal Cord in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Maxim Bester1,2, Eric Sigmund1, Ali Tabesh1, Hina Jaggi1, Matilde Inglese3,4, Robin Mitnick1

1Radiology, New York University, New York, NY, United States; 2Neuroradiology, Eppendorf-Hamburg University, Hamburg, Germany; 3Radiology , New York University, New York, NY, United States; 4Neurology, New York University, New York, NY, United States

Spinal cord (SC) is a frequent and clinically relevant site of pathology in multiple sclerosis (MS). Diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) measures non-Gaussian water diffusion and DKI-derived mean kurtosis (MK) is an index of tissue microstructural complexity. Using a moderately expanded diffusion sampling scheme, MK can be obtained simultaneously with DTI metrics. The aim of this study was to investigate global and regional structural abnormalities in the cervical SC of MS patients using both DKI and DTI. Compared to controls, fractional anisotropy and MK were significantly decreased and mean diffusivity was increased in patients. MK was significantly associated to disability.